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San Diego

June 05, 1986

If the Public Service and Safety Committee of the San Diego City Council has its way, the local branch of the California Public Interest Research Group (CalPIRG) will meet its demise by the end of the month.

In a vote Wednesday morning, the committee approved social service recommendations for fiscal year 1987, including the most drastic measure, the elimination of CalPIRG.

The commission's major opposition to funding the group with an annual $40,000 grant was that the money could be better spent. "We need food for seniors, not food surveys," Councilwoman Judy McCarty said. Other council members said the county should assist in funding the agency.

However, Nancy Rader, San Diego consumer program director at CalPIRG, said that, by funding CalPIRG, the council would not have to eliminate another social service agency.

"We don't want to be pitted against other social service agencies," Rader said. "We really don't think that the city is faced with that choice."

Councilman William Jones, who of the committee's five members cast the sole no vote, said funding might come from the regular city budget instead of the $2 million alloted for social services.

CalPIRG, which is best known locally for its food pricing surveys, was created in 1976, when it was first funded by the City Council. Besides the surveys, the group provides a hot line for consumer questions.

The group's future will be decided when the full council votes on the funding request next Tuesday.

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