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Golden Watchdog Awards finalists -- Metro

Metro category

* City of San Diego Metropolitan Wastewater Department — Televised Sewer Lines

Initiated in 2001 as part of the Metropolitan Wastewater Department’s Sewer Spill Reduction Program, robotic camera technology has allowed city workers to assess the condition of San Diego’s sewer lines in real time. The key elements of this program include cleaning all 3,000 miles of the municipal sewerage system and televising and assessing the condition of more than 1,200 miles of the oldest, most problematic sewer lines in the system. To date, almost half of the municipal sewer lines are now televised and the investment has more than paid for itself. Thanks to this program, 32 miles of sewer lines which were scheduled to be replaced were found to only need rehabilitating, saving taxpayers $52.4 million over four years.

* San Diego Unified School District — Stanley E. Foster Construction Tech Academy at Kearny High Educational Complex

The Stanley E. Foster Construction Tech Academy at Kearny High School prepares students for construction-related careers. The academy’s curriculum provides students with an opportunity to explore construction-related careers through contextual, hands-on, rigorous courses. Unlike other “vocational schools,” Construction Tech was also designed with college in mind, and every graduate will have fulfilled the requirements necessary to enter the UC or Cal State system. Because of the focused curriculum and its relevance to the interests of the students, the current junior class at Construction Tech is passing the California High School Exit Exam at a rate that places the school in the top 20 percent of all high schools in the San Diego Unified School District.

* City of San Diego Office of the City Clerk — Online Access to City Council Meetings by Docket Item

In March 2005, the city clerk’s office and City Cable 24 collaborated to implement a system allowing online access to archived videos of city council meetings by docket item. The new system provides the public with convenient, direct access to all meetings and to specific issues of interest via the Web. Cumbersome public record requests for tapes and CDs of the meetings are now a thing of the past. While the fiscal savings may be minimal, this is a significant step toward assuring open, transparent and efficient government access.

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