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North Coast Current

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San Diego County Taxpayers Association Announces Finalists for 25th Annual Golden Watchdog and Fleece Awards


October 22, 2020: Virtual event to recognize the best and worst use of public funds in San Diego County

San Diego CA— The San Diego County Taxpayers Association (SDCTA) will host its 25thannual Golden Watchdog & Fleece Awards (The Goldens) on Thursday, Oct. 22. The annual dinner, which recognizes the best and worst in local government spending and decision-making in San Diego County, will take place virtually this year.
The finalists for this year are as follows:

Metro Golden Watchdog Award

  • City of Escondido: Graffiti Eradication Program
  • City of Escondido: Volunteer Hub
  • City of San Diego: #DigitalDSD
  • City of San Diego: “Streeteries”

Regional Golden Watchdog Award

  • County of San Diego: Double Down on Affordable Housing
  • County of San Diego: Housing Navigators Reduce Homelessness and Recidivism

Golden Fleece Award

  • Cardiff School District: Encroachment on Public Park
  • City of San Diego: Real Estate Management Failure
  • Port of San Diego: Unlawful Fee on Rental Car Users
  • Solana Beach CCA: No Realized Rate Payer or Energy Savings
  • Sweetwater Union School District: Continued Mismanagement of Funds

Public-Private Partnership Award

  • City of San Diego, County of San Diego, San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC), Regional Task Force on the Homeless (RTFH), and San Diego Convention Center: Operation Shelter to Home:
  • City of San Diego, National Asian American Coalition (NAAC), and Multiple Private Banks: PoliceHomebuyer Down Payment Assistance Program
  • South County EDC and Chula Vista Charitable Foundation: I Can See My Future

Media Watchdog Award

  • ABC 10 – Adam Racusin: The Transparency Project
  • San Diego-Union Tribune – Morgan Cook & Jeff McDonald: CSU San Marcos Lavish Spending
  • San Diego-Union Tribune – Jeff McDonald & Kelly Davis: Sheriff’s Department Inmate Deaths
  • Voice of San Diego – Lisa Halverstadt: MTS Use-Of-Force Exemption
  • Voice of San Diego – Jesse Marx: Smart Streetlights Data for Police

Winners are selected by an anonymous committee and will be announced during the virtual event.
The Goldens help fund SDCTA’s work advocating for more efficient use of public funds and educating voters about important fiscal issues.
“While it may look different from our events in years past, this year’s Goldens hold a special significance as we celebrate 75 years of service to the San Diego community,” said Haney Hong, president and CEO of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association. “Since 1995, the Goldens have been holding our public officials accountable by toasting—and roasting—public sector work funded by San Diego County taxpayer dollars. The event is always a highlight of our year; it’s also an important forum for bringing both watchdogs and government leaders together and reminding each other of our mutual mission to further the public good. We look forward to recognizing the good work being done in local government and calling attention to projects that aren’t making the most effective use of citizens’ investment.”

Looking out for San Diego’s Taxpayers

The San Diego Taxpayers Association was founded on September 18, 1945, just four days after the end of World War II. Many notable community and business leaders came together to form the association because they felt San Diego needed an independent civic organization, separate and distinct from the City-subsidized Chamber of Commerce, to monitor government spending and efficiency as San Diego planned its future in the post-war world.
Since then, detailed analysis and an independent approach to local civic issues have been the hallmark of SDCTA’s work. The group aims to build constructive working relationships with local governments in order to advance tax-efficient policies, and educate the public about important issues that will affect their tax burden.
For more information, visit Sponsorships are available.
Event Calendar Details

  • San Diego County Taxpayer’s Association’s 25thAnnual Golden Watchdog & Fleece Awards
  • Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020 at 5:30 p.m.
  • Tickets: $30 / $100
  • More info and to purchase tickets:

About the San Diego County Taxpayers Association

San Diego County Taxpayers Association (SDCTA)is a non-profit, non-partisan organization, dedicated to promoting accountable, cost-effective and efficient government and opposing unnecessary new taxes and fees. For nearly 75 years, SDCTA has served as “San Diego’s Taxpayer Watchdog Group” by educating the public and helping save the region’s citizens millions of dollars. Public opinion polls consistently rate SDCTA as the most “influential” and “trusted” public policy institution in San Diego. The 150 member-strong organization is led by President & CEO Haney Hong. SDCTA envisions a future where San Diego citizens receive a better return on investment in public assets and services. For more information, please visit, Twitter, Facebook or call 619-234-6423.

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San Diego County Taxpayers Association Announces Finalists for 25th Annual Golden Watchdog and Fleece Awards