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Paradise Plundered: Fi...
Paradise Plundered: Fiscal Crisis and Governance Failures in San Diego
by Steven Erie
The early 21st century has not been kind to California's reputation for good government. But the Golden State's governance flaws reflect worrisome national trends with origins in the 1970s and 1980s. Growing voter distrust with government, a demand for services but not taxes to pay for them, a sharp decline in enlightened leadership and effective civic watchdogs, and dysfu ...more
ebook, 0 pages
Published August 16th 2011 by Stanford University Press
(first published August 15th 2011)
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"The result of San Diego's civic mismanagement is the making of an American Potemkin village -- an impressive privatized facade with a dark public-sector underbelly -- featuring a gleaming new downtown and bevy of tourist attractions but saddled with billion-dollar pension liabilities and deficient public services. With civic energies and resources focused on building downtown 'legacy projects,' such as a new city hall, a central library, an expanded convention center, and possibly a new footbal ...more
Fairly dull even though I am interested in many of the topics. Probably too academic for anyone but a true city policy wonk. I was happy to see that all the blame was not placed by these authors on greedy employees and retirees (just some of it!) Lack of leadership, a public that wants lots of good services but is not willing to pay for anything, the parochialness caused by district elections, the coziness of business with the politicians, lots of bad decisions, the granting of authority to the ...more
Overall good glimpse into the facade that is San Diego. Interesting to read the book while the city is in the middle of a mayoral election, since their former mayor resigned. I think the book is interesting in some aspects, very academic in nature with many facts and figures. Raises and interesting question of what, if anything, should new leadership focus on first; and will they ever break the cycle of their actions?