GRAND JURY URGES THAT COUNTY, CITY AGENCIES AND SCHOOLS BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE TO IMPLEMENT GRAND JURY RECOMMENDATIONS TO WHICH THEY HAVE AGREED

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May 24, 2014 (San Diego) – The San Diego County Grand Jury has issued a report “Say what you’ll do and then do what you say.”  It urges the County Office of Education and the City of San Diego to each establish an implementation review committee.  The report notes pointedly, “The 2013/2014  Grand Jury believes that all agencies within the county should be held accountable for implementing those Grand Jury recommendations to which they have agreed.”

Below is the text of the Grand Jury’s press release. To view the full report, click here.

“The Grand Jury reviews and evaluates procedures, methods, and systems utilized by government to determine whether they can be made more efficient and effective. It may examine any aspect of county government and city government, including special legislative districts and joint powers agencies, to ensure that the best interests of San Diego County citizens are being served.” So states the purpose and charter of the San Diego County Grand Jury. The Grand Jury is in effect a watchdog ensuring transparency in all that is done by government agencies, special legislative districts and joint powers agencies within the county.

Every year the Grand Jury investigates and makes recommendations on ways to improve the City of San Diego, the county’s 17 other municipalities, County agencies, schools, and jails within the County. Many of the recommendations are agreed to by the agency under review and are targeted for implementation.

The San Diego County Past Grand Jurors Association (PGJA), in conjunction with the County of San Diego Board of Supervisors, has sponsored the Past Grand Jury Association Implementation Review Committee since 1983 for the purpose of investigating and monitoring the recommendation implementation efforts by all County agencies. However, as a committee sponsored by the County, it has no jurisdiction over the other cities and schools districts in the County.

Many of the recommendations made to those agencies by the Grand Jury are accepted as viable for implementation, yet due to the limited scope of the County PGJA Implementation Review Committee, there has been no follow-up to determine whether the recommendations were, in fact, implemented.

The 2013/2014 Grand Jury believes that all agencies within the county should be held accountable for implementing those Grand Jury recommendations to which they have agreed. To that end the Grand Jury recommends that the County Office of Education establish an Implementation Review Committee patterned after the current San Diego County Past Grand Jury Implementation Review Committee. Further the Grand Jury recommends that the City of San Diego establish an Implementation Review Committee similar to the one established in 2007/2009. Both Implementation Review Committees should be patterned after the County’s PGJA Implementation Review Committee.

The complete report can also be found on the Grand Jury’s website: www.sdcounty.ca.gov/grandjury.

 

Comments

Does the new Grand Jury Report dated May 21, 2014 fall short?

Exactly one year ago, to the day, the San Diego County Grand Jury issued it's report "Fool Me Once, Fool Me Twice" to the Grossmont Union High School District. In their recent report issued May 21, 2014 they addressed the enforcement side of their reporting. In their new report entitled "Say what you'll do and then do what you say" urges the City of San Diego and the San Diego County Office of Education to establish an 'implementation review committee'. The purpose of the 'committee' is to ensure that recommendations agreed to and accepted by the agency receiving and responding to the Grand Jury report were, actually, implemented or are in the process of implementation. I couldn't agree more with this effort. Unfortunately, for the community of Alpine, this 'committee' will fall short if it's only purpose is to address the recommendations and not the whole response. For example, School Board's can say one thing as their continuing theme throughout their response but choose not to directly agree and accept the Grand Jury's recommendations. In the case of the Grossmont Board Majority's 3-2 response, to the above report, there would be no concerns about an 'implementation review committee' returning to enforce anything since the Board Majority did not commit to agreeing or accepting the Grand Jury's recommendations. Agencies then could choose not to accept the recommendations from the Grand Jury, with the required stated reasons, and simply avoid any further scrutiny of an "implementation review committee". Ironically, the title reads as an indictment against Boards that lack the 'character" to do what they say they would do. Back in late 2003 the Grossmont Board promised to build Alpine their school by a unanimous Board Resolution that was in turn issued to the County Board of Education and the State Board of Education to request denying Alpine's first unification efforts because Grossmont "said" it would build the Alpine high school if they ceased their unification efforts? Board members' Schreiber and Kelly both signed that Resolution in good faith or so one would think? Ten years and two Bonds later Alpine is back to square one with another attempt to divorce from a school district that clearly does not want them. Only one Board Member has stood on her principles to "say what she'd do and then do what she said." The other Board Member has recruited school board candidates to help implement obstacles to the Alpine/Blossom Valley H.S. and from ever getting anything other than higher property tax bills, more empty promises of ever getting a neighborhood K-12 school program (like all other Grossmont communities), continued risks that come with student's long commute and further impacts to growth that not having a complete K-12 program brings. Kelly and Shield told the Alpine citizens at every election that they would build their school. Now with Kelly and Shield and their return crony "recruit" Dr. Woods up for election this coming November shouldn't Grossmont elect those who will "say what they'll do and then do what they say"? Isn't it about time we had people of good faith and character serve your children and the Grossmont Community? Sadly, we have people who are not principled and only serve the greater population for votes while kicking a whole community to the curb. Let's break down each community and see who they will kick next? Each Grossmont community is a piece of the whole and should be treated equally and with respect. Grossmont does not need Board Members who will take land from property owners through eminent domain and a "Resolution of Necessity" as a mock show of good faith only to sit on the land for 15 years. Grossmont does not need Board Members who would impose an enrollment trigger on only one project/community when they knew it would be unattainable. Grossmont does not need Board Members who pit one community against another. Grossmont does not need Board Members who tout that they are conservative, does not believe in putting facilities bonds on the ballot, but yet controls all the spending, manipulates the taxpayer's watchdog group 'the Citizen's Bond Oversight Committee' and front-loads non-voter approved projects in order to spend down money so there is nothing left for the Alpine/Blossom Valley high school. Seriously, the reality of the decisions made by these Board Members today will negatively impact the Grossmont District tomorrow. Does anyone see anything illegal or unethical in any of this? Will the Grand Jury, the DA? These "leaders" have forced Alpine into another unification process, why? I wonder if the infamous 11th hour enrollment trigger would have been waived for their political gain in getting the school named Ronald Reagan during his Centennial? You would have seen their true intentions about that enrollment trigger had other Board members not stood on principle to allow that community to name their own school. Please, don't be fooled, the enrollment trigger and the additional obstacles added only to the Alpine H.S. project is about personal politics NOT leadership! Just think what could have been accomplished under real leadership for the community of Alpine and the entire Grossmont District? Hopefully, the County Committee of the County Board of Education will give Alpine their ticket out and new hope for that community …