SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The city of San Diego wasted about $130 million last year that could have been put to good use, mayoral candidate and City Councilman Carl DeMaio said Tuesday, while the mayor's office dismissed his claims as an election-year stunt.
DeMaio said the city squandered $26 million on overtime pay, which wouldn't be needed with better staffing procedures, and paid out about $24 million through a deferred retirement program -- something he wants to eliminate.
He said those examples were among dozens.
"Every dollar that is wasted is a dollar less that could be put into neighborhood services, like library hours or graffiti removal," DeMaio said. "Every dollar wasted is less money for road repairs."
For every 2.2 employees, there is a city vehicle -- about 4,000 total, he said. Eighteen of those vehicles were never used in 2011, and 113 logged less than 1,000 miles.
About $800,000 has been set aside for employee leave time, representing about 16 hours per employee, he said.
DeMaio said there was no reason for the city to have two personnel departments.
He said the city's procurement process could be improved, and that without a competitive bidding program, the city would continue to lose money.
In some cases, the county duplicates some of the same services provided by the city, DeMaio said.
Darren Pudgil of the mayor's office said DeMaio's assertions were misleading.
"Once again, Carl DeMaio is trying to get himself elected mayor by making wild-eyed exaggerations and assuming the public is too gullible to see through his act," Pudgil said.
He said the councilman used old data, and some of the problems he listed have already been dealt with.
DeMaio faces District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, Rep. Bob Filner, D-San Diego, and Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher -- an independent who recently left the Republican Party -- in the June 5 primary election.
A bomb squad has been sent to a self-storage business in the 1800 block of Massachusetts Avenue, near Main Street in Lemon Grove, where a caller reported finding what appeared to be a "military practice device," a sheriff's lieutenant says.
A water line broke Wednesday morning in a hilly neighborhood on the border of San Diego and Mountain View, flooding several nearby homes and opening a large sinkhole that partially swallowed a pickup truck.
A 23-year-old San Diego man was behind bars today on suspicion of fatally stabbing a woman whose body was found near an Encanto park, police said.
A 37-year-old man stabbed his 66-year-old uncle to death Wednesday morning inside a Pacific Beach condominium where both men lived, police said.
A high-pressure ridge is continuing to keep the weather warm across San Diego County with the mild conditions and above-average temperatures expected to continue through Thursday.
Backers of a proposed ballot initiative that would pave the way for San Diego State University to acquire the SDCCU Stadium property for campus expansion submitted more than 100,000 signed petitions to election officials Tuesday.
Ocean Beach residents on Tuesday packed a town hall meeting to sound off about a recent wave of crime in their neighborhood.
The city of El Cajon is responding to backlash after 12 people were given citations for handing out food to the homeless.
The Women’s March is scheduled to take place this coming Saturday, but there may not be enough public transportation to handle the tens of thousands of people who are expected to march because no trains will be running from North County.