Fletcher promises 50 public town halls annually - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Fletcher promises 50 public town halls annually

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Nathan Fletcher said Thursday he will hold 50 town hall meetings annually in neighborhoods around San Diego if elected the city's mayor.

The assemblyman said he and top city officials would hold the weekly gatherings at libraries and community centers to engage the public and take questions from "real people, from regular citizens out in the community."

"That will give residents a chance to ask questions, to demand accountability, to ensure that they have direct access to the mayor if there's some aspect of the city that isn't functioning well," Fletcher said.

He made the pledge at a news conference in which he unveiled a four-point plan to increase transparency in issuing contracts and permits, and announced he would release his last three years of tax returns on Friday.

As part of his transparency plan, he said he would reveal any campaign contributors who win contracts below the threshold for City Council approval, would post all contracts and their performance metrics online, and establish an online portal where residents can get information.

"My administration isn't going to hide in City Hall ducking questions," Fletcher said. "We're going to engage the public in their communities. We're going to open up access not only to contracts but performance measures to make sure those contracts are working. We're going to provide greater campaign finance disclosure. We're going to help clean up the public records act request process."

Fletcher, who recently left the Republican Party and declared himself an independent, is running against Councilman Carl DeMaio, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, Rep. Bob Filner, D-San Diego, and website owner Tobiah Pettus in the June 5 primary. If none of them gain more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two finishers will square off in the November general election.

DeMaio also has a transparency plan, in which he pledged to post online city employee compensation and pension information, city contracts in excess of $25,000 and their performance measures, and hold monthly question-and-answer sessions with the public. He also has a goal of handling 95 percent of the city's transactions with the public online by 2015.

The other candidates have also discussed making City Hall more open and accountable to the public.

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