Supervisors tightening the rules; SD’s median income still low

Supervisor Dave Roberts presents San Diego Zoo Global Chairman Rick Gulley with a $7,000 county grant. A proposed amendment would limit supervisors to using these regular-sized checks during public presentations. July 25, 2014. Photo by Tammy Spratt, San Diego Zoo Global

Supervisor Dave Roberts presents San Diego Zoo Global Chairman Rick Gulley with a $7,000 county grant. A proposed amendment would limit supervisors to using these regular-sized checks during public presentations. July 25, 2014. Photo by Tammy Spratt, San Diego Zoo Global

Supervisors tightening the rules

Members of the county Board of Supervisors are set to vote on imposing greater demands and restrictions on themselves when it comes to gifts and recognition for some grants they give. This after some serious accountability reporting by Leo Castaneda.

Leo first acquired a database of every grant the supervisors have awarded over the past 16 years from a multi-million-dollar discretionary fund. He cross-referenced that list — which we made searchable for your convenience — with reported gifts and public recognition individual supervisors received from grateful recipients.

Next week the supervisors are supposed to vote on tightening the rules. If they do, they won’t even be allowed to give the grants in the form of those giant checks some organizations love for photo ops.

Read all about it here… and of course listen on KPBS radio today and watch Evening Edition to hear and see more from Leo.

Downtown San Diego | Photo by: Sam Hodgson

Downtown San Diego | Photo by: Sam Hodgson

The income gap

Data reporter Joe Yerardi turned his expertise to the census this week with an analysis showing San Diegans are still flinching financially: their median income is still stubbornly lower than it was back in the Great Recession of 2009.

He reported that the medium income in this metro region in 2013 was virtually unchanged from 2012. We ranked sixth among 25 metropolitan areas nationwide in income decline.

San Diego’s median household income ranks ninth on the top-25 list.

In California, Joe found the San Diego metro area ranked second behind the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward metro and ahead of both the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim and Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario metros.

As is almost always the case with inewsource, we provided you with a nifty interactive so you can dig around in the data yourself.

To put all this in perspective: it would take 12 households making the median income to buy an MRAP, the tank-like vehicle the San Diego Unified School District police got from the military surplus locker.

You’ll notice…

We couldn’t let the week go by without mentioning that MRAP

The story Joe reported last week — along with a database of other locally acquired military surplus — was one of our most popular ever.

We were credited for the story by PBS and the Daily Beast. The story even made the Colbert report, which photoshopped the MRAP into an Oscar Meyer wiener truck and an ice cream truck. Have a look.

The news has been followed by many similar reports of military surplus in other school districts across the country. Many are prompting action. Grenade launchers, anyone?

A photo of the 2013 Caiman MRAP acquired by the San Diego Unified School District Police Department. The decals have been digitally rendered onto the vehicle. Courtesy: San Diego Unified School District.

A photo of the 2013 Caiman MRAP acquired by the San Diego Unified School District Police Department. The decals have been digitally rendered onto the vehicle. Courtesy: San Diego Unified School District.

shadow-ornament

We'll let you know when big things happen.

About Brad Racino:

Brad Racino
Brad Racino is a senior reporter and assistant director at inewsource. To contact him with tips, suggestions or corrections, please email bradracino [at] inewsource [dot] org.