SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Money to pay next year's salary for San Diego's civic organist has been found, and it will not come from the city's general fund, the assistant director of the Parks and Recreation Department said Thursday.
Members of the City Council balked last month at approving a new 10-year contract for Dr. Carol Williams, who performs an hour long concert each Sunday at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park, because it took money from the same fund that paid staff in the department and kept recreation centers open.
At the time, the shock of proposed cuts to recreation centers and city libraries, and their employees, was just settling in for the council members, but those reductions are no longer being seriously considered.
The new plan for Williams, to be presented to a City Council committee next Wednesday, is to pay her with some of the Parks and Recreation Department's share of hotel room tax revenues, which have to go for certain uses connected with tourism and can't be spent on general operations, said Scott Reese, the assistant director.
"In this case, with a direct nexus between the pipe organ and tourism, there's a solid connection," Reese said.
If the contract is approved, Williams would be paid $28,860 annually by the city for about 30 hours per week of work to prepare and perform the shows. She also receives money from the Spreckels Organ Society.
Williams earned a doctorate in music from the Manhattan School of Music and has performed around the world.
The organ and pavilion were a gift to San Diego from John and Adolph Spreckels for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, and the city has paid for an organist since 1926.
An allegedly intoxicated motorist was arrested after leading sheriff's deputies on a chase from Santee to El Cajon, where he crashed the truck he was driving.
A motorist who led police on a chase from the Tierrasanta area to the Mira Mesa area was arrested Thursday after crashing into a fence and allegedly injuring two officers.
Residents in El Cajon are sounding the alarm on what they say are growing problems related to increased homelessness in the area. Some neighbors say they feel unsafe in their own yards because of drug use and nearby encampments.
Santa Ana winds will sweep through parts of San Diego County Thursday, combining with low humidity levels and warm temperatures to create the potential for dangerous wind-driven wildfires, the National Weather Service said.
Temperatures will continue to warm through the weekend, cooling early next week. Weak offshore flow will give way to slowly increasing humidity.
More than 900,000 San Diego County residents will participate in Thursday's Great California ShakeOut earthquake drill to test their level of preparedness for a major temblor.
A San Diego woman with connections to former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford sold the San Ysidro School District on spending $276,000 upfront for an after-school program in 2016. The problem? It never happened.
An El Cajon Boy Scout troop that is used to volunteering and helping the community is now asking for the public’s help after two of their trailers containing gear and equipment were stolen just weeks apart.