Watchdogs, Civic Activists & Whistleblowers Voice Concerns
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The Journal of San Diego History Read: SD History.org
SAN DIEGO HISTORICAL SOCIETY QUARTERLY
San Diego HistorySocoiety Winter 1990, Vol. 36, Num. 1(excerpts):
The Making of the Panama-California Exposition, 1909-1915, by Richard W. Amero
Researcher and Writer on the history of Balboa Park
Goodhue designed a bridge to span Cabrillo Canyon with three gigantic arches, similar to the Alcántara Bridge at Toledo, Spain.79 Thinking Goodhue's design too costly, exposition directors chose instead a seven-arch, aqueduct-type bridge designed by Frank P. Allen, Jr. and engineered by Thomas B. Hunter. Work on the bridge commenced in September 1912 and ended on April 12, 1914, when the first car was driven across with Franklin D. Roosevelt, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, G. Aubrey Davidson, and Mayor Charles F. O'Neall as passengers.80
The main exposition entrance was at Laurel Street and West Park Boulevard. The buildings rose east of Cabrillo Bridge
On Invalid's Day, October 14, volunteers drove automobiles loaded with invalids into the Exposition. The invalids saw marines drill on their parade grounds, applauded a concert at the Organ Pavilion, and enjoyed attractions at the Indian Village.
The most exciting day in October was October 29 when inventor Thomas A. Edison, in his 68th year, and automobile manufacturer Henry Ford, in his 52nd year, visited the Fair together. Edison was in favor of and Ford against national preparedness for war. When the automobile bearing the pair entered the Plaza de Panama, about 12,000 schoolchildren buried Edison in flowers.
The Liberty Bell from Philadelphia arrived at the Santa Fe Depot on the afternoon of November 12. A combined civilian/military escort loaded it on a special car and took it to the Exposition. A platform had been set up to receive it in the Plaza de Panama.
San Diego Day, November 17, brought forth an outpouring of civic spirit. The day began with an organ recital by Dr. Stewart, followed by a parade of decorated automobiles from the north gate to the Plaza de Panama.
The last day of the Panama-California Exposition, December 31, began with a combined review of officers and men of the 2nd Battalion, 4th Regiment, U.S. Marines, the Firt Cavalry and the Coast Artillery held in the Plaza de Panama.
>So much for the claims that there were no cars in the Plaza De Panama in 1915< Furthermore Council member Gloria said the deferred maintenance backlog at the park was estimated a couple of years ago to be $250 million. Deferred maintenance is a better use of money in Balboa Park than an un-historial, unneeded bypass bridge.
Redevelopment: Letter addressed to Mr. Faulconer:
The City's own website describes the redevelopment agency's purpose as follows:
The Redevelopment Agency of the City of San Diego was created by the City Council in 1958 to alleviate conditions of urban blight in designated areas of the City. The Agency's scope and authority stem from the State of California's Health and Safety Code (Section 33000 et seq.), also known as the California Community Redevelopment Law <http://www.hcd.ca.gov/hpd/rda/rdalaw.html> . The law outlines procedures to determine what development, reconstruction, and rehabilitation are needed and desirable. It also defines the financial tools, legal authority, and citizen participation necessary to successfully implement adopted redevelopment plans. The law is designed to promote an improved and safer neighborhood environment and a restoration of community pride.
I fail to see how Horton Plaza, the North Embarcadero, the Bayside Fire Station, or the Connections Housing Proposal qualify under this stated description. The Horton Plaza Park is a nice idea but that area is not blighted. The North Embarcadero "Visionary Plan" is visionary to some but not everyone and that area is not blighted. If the downtown area needs a new fires station, this should be the business of the City of San Diego, not the CCDC, this is not redevelopment. this is fire/life safety and has nothing to do with redevelopment. Finally, the Connections Housing proposal for a permanent homeless shelter is an admirable idea and should be attended to by the City of San Diego; it is also not redevelopment and the CCDC has no business handling it.
Frankly, these projects just sound like excuses to continue the CCDC. If that agency just paid the City back what it owes the City and was disbanded, all four of these projects could be taken care of by the City as they should be. The CCDC has long since out-lived its usefulness and is now just a place for unelected people to receive high salaries and spend our money with very little say from us. You are on the wrong side of this issue and you need to reconsider your position.
With Fred Maas's and Nancy Graham's departure CCDC Needs a New Name... Pick One:
1. Center City Developer of Corruption
2. Corporate Center for Developer's Corruption
3. Center for Concocting Development Corruption
4. Center City Disclosure Cloaker
P.S. If District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis can get Bernie Madoff how about him for the next head of CCDC?
Mayor Oversteps with $103 Million Bond
I agree with Councilmember Donna Frye that the issue of the $103 million bond for deferred maintenance projects needs to be authorized by the City Council. According to reports, the new plan has significant changes compared to the previous plan. One of these is $1.7 million for a lifeguard station at La Jolla Cove. As I understand it, this dollar amount is well above the threshold that prevents the Mayor from acting unilaterally. Further, according to the language of the original ordinance, the City Council must review significant changes to the borrowing plan. This is a significant change.
Another can of worms is the removal of the elevator improvements at City Hall and the downtown library, because both buildings may be redeveloped. Redevelopment of either of these structures is controversial and may not happen anytime soon. The City Council needs to review the removal of these projects.
As an aside, I found it kind of amusing and especially ironic that Mayor Sanders chose to announce this deal at a “pothole-riddled downtown intersection near Petco Park,” according to the Union-Tribune. This is just further illustration that funds from redevelopment cannot be used for any maintenance needs that the tax increment diversion scheme actually adds to the on-going decay of the City. Redevelopment in this City really should be scaled back, by terminating many of the current redevelopment project areas.
Given that it takes four council members to place an item on the agenda, four councilmembers need to come together to place the new plan for the $103 million bond on the City Council agenda.—Brian T. Peterson, DVM
Some City Budget Thoughts...
1.) Do away with CCDC, its served its purpose, now it is just a Ponzi scheme. Put the money owed to the city back in the General Fund
2.) Have Developer Services Dept furlough their employees once or twice a month now that their business (applications) are down.
3.) Have every city employee earning over 100M/ year take a 10% pay cut as recommended by the IBA (Goldstone's salary is around $250M he could afford it... that was $50M more than the president of the U.S. received in the year 2000.)
4.) Terminate the new downtown library, a new city hall and expansion of the convention center.
5.) Stop hiring outside consultants...if our city employees can't perform the work replace them.
6.) Stop using our fire dept trucks and firemen in any parades (avoids overtime and lawsuits)
7.) Force sponsors of any sporting event and entertainment events requiring police supervision to pay for the police and any collateral city expense (waste cleanup.)
8.) Place a moratorium on Condo construction as it just increases un-recoverable infrastructure costs to the city.
Failing the above and any budget saving ideas that others have that don't close libraries and rec centers or further reduce their hours....then....
DECLARE CITY BANKRUPTCY
......but put in your earplugs to drown out the DROP program's participant screams.
Yes-men on the Board
The Mayor’s praise for the stacked convention center board members is a bunch of baloney!
If Mayor Sanders put the five community activists on the task force, we'd come up with several good reasons not to expand the convention center, especially considering they want to cover up the last bit of space left between the current Conv. Center and the bay. —Activist
Response: Sanders Panders
...he has advocated a new down town library, a new city hall and expansion of the Convention Center.
Obviously he is unaware that more people use their local libraries (that he would close), that the English Parliament Building is still used and predates our city hall by a good many years, and regarding the convention center, that businesses are cutting back along with tourism.
What we need to build is more alternate transit (rail) and (replace) our falling apart infrastructure (water and sewer lines.) and repair our roads.
Need I mention the effect of the announcement there is no money to test bacteria count of our beach waters and the impact that will have on tourism.
There are plenty of jobs to be stimulated it is creating them in the right place.—J
So Sanders wants to gut the Mills act....
How ironic the country commissioners had a ceremony this week recognizing Mission Hills 100th anniversary and its town council and heritage group for their historic preservation in Mission Hills.
It appears that Sanders is trying to set the bull dozers loose in order to get more campaign contributions from his developers.
The last thing this city needs is four more years of this smoke and mirrors mayor with his Sainz scripts and a Casey Gwinn Clone replacing Aguirre in the City Attorney's Office.
The first time I was in California was in 1940 and I naively thought all of the Hollywood sets were in Hollywood. Here in San Diego too many historical architecturally distinctive houses and buildings have been treated like knock 'em down Hollywood sets after the filming is over.—JR
PRESERVATION ALERT: The Mills Act
You need to be aware that Mayor Jerry Sanders and City staff are proposing significant changes to the City of San Diego's Mills Act Program.
If adopted as written, these changes will make most (if not all) historic homes in La Jolla, Pacific Beach, Point Loma, Mission Hills, Bankers Hill, Hillcrest, Talmadge and Kensington ineligible for a new Mills Act contract.
In addition, numerous recent comments by City staff indicate that the City is considering possible "non-renewal" of current Mills Act contracts. This action would effectively cancel existing contracts and the process of increasing property taxes to the current year assessments would begin.
If you are concerned by the City's current tenor regarding protecting our historic communities please...
Community’s have the right to organize itself and vote for members who support shared goals. Throughout San Diego record numbers of community members are showing up to vote at Planning Boards Elections.
VICTORY FOR HoK at the KEN-TAL ELECTIONS!
On Wednesday, March 12, the Kensington-Talmadge community voted overwhelmingly to replace seven current board members with people who support the goals of Heart of Kensington. It was a decisive vote and a strong statement against a planning board that voted unanimously in October 2007 to approve the Kensington Terrace development.
This is a victory for residents who want to preserve the Kensington village atmosphere!
Steve Peace pushed through deregulation of the electrical companies?
Bills skyrocket. Mom and Pop businesses and restaurants went belly-up!
Peaces’ next debacle was to push through legislation to form the San Diego Airport Authority.
Then big surprise… Steve wanted to head the airport authority.
Great high paying job waiting for him when he got out of office!
Because of public outcry…. Steve didn’t get his dream job, so instead he went to work for John Moores as a lobbyist.
Big surprise again… John Moores, who is sucking the taxpayers and city dry on the ball park, has a huge airport/cruise ship/hotel development plan for our bay front.
Big surprise again… developer Mayor Sanders appoints Steve Peace to the Airport Authority!
This is after Sanders appointed consummate controversial inside Allen Bersin.
Isn’t time to get rid of this sham of an Airport Authority?
Isn’t it time to get rid of Sanders?
Isn’t it time to give Steve Peace, Allen Bersin and John Moores a one way ticket out of town?
I am sure the Airport Authority can get them a first class 1-way-ticket at a good price!
Don Bauder BLOG
Remember when Don Bauder was digging up the dirt at the SD Union? And then he got forced out for digging up too much that Copley didn't like?
He then started writing for the Reader, but that limited him to once a
week. Good gosh, there's a lot more dirt in San Diego than you can
squeeze into one weekly column. So now Don has a Blog. Great! Check it out: www2.sdreader.com/weblogs/financial-crime-politics/
James Waring's Arrogance
As the egregious James Waring leaves for greener pastures, his sense of right and wrong remains unchanged by his experiences in San Diego. He departed as he arrived, reft of any notion that his main goal was to make the city better, not worse.
Neither the good examples that citizens set for him, especially in the community planning system, nor his flaming failure to effect his em- ployer's ambitious plans for commercial and development supremacy over citizens‚ needs seems to have had any effect on him whatever. Some of us are not surprised.
His swan song, "What I want is the best solution for the City", rings hollow as we see in the same article in today's newspaper that,
„..he doesn't think the [Sunroad] building poses a danger to aircraft at Montgomery Field. Such sneering arrogance. Insofar as the Sunroad building is concerned, the best solution for the City was and is compliance with FAA safety recommendations.
Trying to push a major safety hazard through the permit process, getting caught at it, and then blaming the Development Services De- partment and the City Attorney, rather than himself, are quintessential James Waring; the James Waring that the Mayor put at the head of real estate, planning, redevelopment, permits, and related matters. We best under- stand James Waring by first understanding Jerry Sanders.
—Jim Varnadore, City Heights
Internal Investigation for the Sunroad's Debacle
Letter to: Ms. SawyerKnoll,
As reported in the media you have been appointed to take over Ms. Froman's internal investigation regarding the permitting process for the Sunroad Centrum 12 debacle.
The Union-Tribune has done most of your investigating on this in reporting Ms. Escobar-Eck as the primary culprit with Mr. Waring as an accomplice. Their actions would not have been tolerated this long in an uncorrupt corporation.
Any attempt by any person or person's in the city's administration to obscure Escobar-Eck's and Waring's involvement or place fault on a lower echelon employee will be viewed by the public as being as culpable as the original perpetrators of this heinous compromising of public safety. .
Furthermore it is we taxpayers that will have to suffer further cutbacks in public services should the Sunroad Corporation be successful in their $40 million dollar lawsuit.
The public/media spotlight is now upon you.
—Sincerely yours, Jarvis Ross, 7/11/07
Help or spread the word if you can; the single most unrepresentative group in the City of San Diego (the working poor) are having their homes, jobs, and businesses taken away from them by the city owned redevelopment corporations, city redevelopment department and the elected city officials who claim to represent them.
There is no real need for SEDC or CCDC:
1. Citizen redevelopment Boards, elected by the local populations and not appointed or hand-picked by our politicians can direct redevelopment dollars
2. Organic populations can remain in their local areas and gentrification
does not have to take place -- if only socially responsible
development/redevelopment were to be allowed and encouraged.
3. Locally and community developed "owner-participation models" can be used in order for existing populations to profit from development/redevelopment
of privately owned lands and businesses instead of large
developers/redevelopers serving private/political interests.
Responce Comments to the above commentary:
If you read redevelopment law in the Health & Safety Code you find that Project Area Committees are the only named advisory committees. CCDC and SEDC have usurped their powers. I question the legality of CCDC and SEDC. No other city has this type of entity. —Mel
I agree. I feel that all planning committees should be elected as is done in the unincorporated areas.
If you want to know the power of the big developers then City Heights is an example to review. The City Manager and council conspired to eliminate the locally controlled Mid City Development Corporation -our local redevelopment agency, the City Heights Business Improvement Association -our local business owners association, and the Model Schools Agency -our partnership to have community control over school eminent domain. One by one these organizations have been eliminated or replaced by developer puppet bodies.
The big developers want consolidation of power in individuals that can be controlled by the human weakness needs for incentives outside the community (More money or support for future election etc.)
Keep up the fight for democracy on the most immediate and direct level. —J
The barrio people need to recall their councilman! —Deb
Mayor and Council's Hypocrisy of cutting the City Attorney's Budget for 14 Attorneys
The Mayor complained he isn’t getting much legal advise from the City Attorney’s office lately.
“Then WHY did Sander’s cut staff by 14 lawyers after telling Aguirre he could have them?"
Peter’s has been fast tracking items on the Council Docket, complaining the City Attorney’s Office isn’t looking at the items fast enough, before they are voted on.
“WHY then did Stevens vote to cut staff the for the City Attorney’s office by 14 lawyers?
Akins has complained for years about the large amount of litigation the city has.
“Then WHY did she vote cut staff for the City Attorney’s office by 14 lawyers?
”Hueso and Young say they need representatives in their districts from the City Attorney’s office.
“So, WHY did they both vote cut the staff for the City Attorney’s office by 14 lawyers?
”Maybe this hypocritical Mayor and Council should stop the questionable deals that end up having the City in court and the City Attorney questioning their practices.
Maybe if the bad behavior that permeates our City would stop we wouldn’t need as many attorneys!
Troubled over Sunroad's Harbor Island plan
Union Tribune, Letter to tyhe Editor, 6/3/07
Regarding “Faulty towers?/Sunroad's plan to build near Lindbergh Field troubles FAA” (A1, June 1):
My jaw drops at just the thought of two hotel towers that exceed federal height standards being built on Harbor Island next to Lindbergh Field and the Navy airfield. Does Sunroad, or anybody for that matter, have any idea how many planes miss their landings on a daily basis?
Do they even care if a plane veers into a building?I live beside the flight path and am aware of at least one or two flights a day that miss their landings, even when weather conditions are good. Planes circle and try again.
When the weather is bad, misses spike to three or more. A flight I was on missed its landing because of the glare of the sun!
Allowing Sunroad to exceed the Federal Aviation Administration height limits and to actually create yet another obstacle to safe aviation in San Diego is ludicrous!
How does Sunroad defy federal regulations? Something's surely amiss here.
—CAROLYN CURTICE, San Diego
The Sunroad Fiasco
By Ian Trowbridge, Voice of San Diego Letters, May 16, 2007
The Sunroad fiasco confirms the worst fears of those of us who worried that Mayor Jerry Sanders would conduct business as usual at City Hall. The latest information published in voiceofsandiego.org,
The San Diego Union-Tribune and the Blog of San Diego, in aggregate, paint a picture of incompetence and cronyism in the Development Services Department dating back to 1997.
At the center of the storm is Marcella Escobar-Eck currently the director of Development Services who has made nonsensical findings on the Sunroad development since its inception. She seems to believe one twelve story building is in substantial conformance with original plans for two six story buildings in the proximity of an airfield.
However, Jim Waring, the mayor's land use czar sat on his hands even though the FAA objected to Sunroad. He still has not taken any action to enforce the city's stop work order. He has a lot to answer for.
Then there is the forgetful mayor himself who took $3,600 in bundled checks from Sunoad chairman Aaron Felman and other executives without even knowing.
This episode is so similar to the way Corky McMillan conducted business in this city that Don Bauder's assertion that "Sanders is Susan Golding in drag" seems the dismal truth. Not Really a Salary Freeze
Not Really a Salary Freeze
By Mel Shapiro, Voice of San Diego Letters, May 15, 2007
Your story about CCDC and SEDC salaries said there was a salary freeze. Not really.
Since these two agencies report only salary ranges rather than individual salaries, you can't tell if a person was raised from the bottom to the top of the range. They can do this while freezing the ranges. This seems to be beyond the comprehension of the City Council.
Moreover, 10 redevelopment project areas are managed by city staffs that are under the same salary guidelines as the rest of the 11,000 city employees. They do the same type of work as CCDC and SEDC but get lower salaries. Why?
The mayor doesn't really know what he's talking about.
Chief Lansdowne, the Mayor, the DA and the Sheriff were incorrect
Having previously sent an email to the council, the Mayor, et al. informing them to read "To Protect but not to Serve" in today's Voice of San Diego. it has been conclusively confirmed that Chief Lansdowne, the Mayor, the District Attorney and the Sheriff were incorrect in the guidance they provided Lansdowne to not serve an judicially authorized search warrant. It also proves that the City Attorney was correct in the process.
It is pathetic that the top law enforcement officials of this City and County have little or no knowledge of the law; such basic law. Even the
Union Tribune did not research the action Lansdowne, et al. took
prior to writing an incorrect, nasty article in re Aguirre. He deserves an
apology from this "RAG'. and the idiot that wrote the piece..
These officials are definitely, in their hate for Mike Aguirre, not
serving the citizens of this City/County. Rather, they are attempting, as
is the Union Tribune, to destroy Aguirre personally or at least his
reputation AND integrity.
These people do not belong in office; they should all be recalled or at the very least publicly apologize to Aguirre and then resign. Lansdowne
has embarrassed this City and he should be fired.—Peter
A Common Thread to Marcella Escobar-Eck and Violations of FAA Guidelines
The Old-Take a look at the RPZ (Runway protection Zone) at NTC in the Precise Plan which was put together by Development Services Department with McMillin LLC and their subcontractors. Guess what... the restaurant and retail uses for buildings 1 and 32, which they used to inflate the needs of parking at Shoreline plaza, are in violation of FAA guidelines. Municipalities can override FAA guidelines ...but... the city (taxpayers) then assume the liabilities for health and safety of the building occupants.
What do both of these projects have in common...Marcella Escobar-Eck...now head of the Development Services Department. Who does she report to....the mayor's increasingly infamous, Waring. (How appropriately named..."be wary" of Waring.)— JR
Another case of profit over safety...
The Grand Jury and Airport Aithority also had concerns over NTC violation of FAA guidelines concerning noise and safety of the schools and residents at NTC. Marcella Escobar-Eck signed off on the response to Grand Jury, another case by-passing the City Attorney’s Office. — KB
The new-Protecting the interest of the public
By Michael Aguirre, Union-Tribune, April 2, 2007
This is a story about a smbol of corruption that stains our San Diego landscape. It is located in Kearny Mesa just to the east of state Route 163 near Clairemont Mesa Boulevard. It is called Sunroad Centrum I, and it towers 190 feet high in defiance of a Federal Aviation Administration warning to the company that it is an air navigation hazard to pilots flying in and out of Montgomery Field.
On Jan. 19, the California Department of Transportation sent a harsh letter criticizing the city for its failure to enforce the stop-work notice on the building. In the letter, Caltrans states that, "This issue is not about who has liability for the hazard, but taking action to remove the hazard so that liability is not an issue. When the facts of the situation show a developer failed to comply with a federal notification regulation (FAA Regulation Part 77.17), used that violation of federal regulation to obtain local planning and building approval, knowingly began construction of a building determined by a federal agency to be a hazard, constructed parts of the building in violation of state law (PUC Section 21659), and continue to defy state and local attempts to resolve the situation, the reluctance of the city to take the necessary steps to protect its citizenry is a mystery."
Who allowed this to happen? In addition to its civil lawsuit against Sunroad to force a reduction in the size of the building, the City Attorney's Office has been conducting a criminal investigation into whether a former chief of staff to Mayor Dick Murphy, who went to work for Sunroad, violated city law that prohibits former officials from lobbying the city for one year after leaving city employment.
On the afternoon of Wednesday, March 21, at the request of the City Attorney's Office, a San Diego Superior Court judge issued a search warrant directed at evidence related to the alleged illegal lobbying by the former city official.
However, malfeasance by San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne prevented the search. The search warrant was given to an assistant chief, and within a few hours, it was leaked to the Mayor's Office. The next morning, news of the search warrant was leaked to the Union-Tribune. Word also somehow reached officials at the company where the search was to take place. It is a misdemeanor under California Penal Code section 168 for a police officer to willfully disclose the fact of the warrant prior to execution for the purpose of preventing the search.
With the fact of the search warrant leaked and the reluctance of Lansdowne to serve the warrant, the City Attorney's Office was forced to enter into an agreement calling for the subject of the search warrant to voluntarily turn over the documents sought by the warrant. However, once company officials became aware of Lansdowne's stance on the matter, they gave little consideration to their agreement to voluntarily produce documents.
Under our form of government the judge, not law enforcement officials, determine whether a search warrant should be issued. As the Supreme Court ruled in U.S. v. Leon, "it is the magistrate's responsibility to determine whether the officer's allegations establish probable cause and, if so, to issue a warrant."
What is most disturbing is that this is not the first time that Lansdowne has embarrassed law enforcement. He was party to the plan to arrest Diann Shipione, the lone whistle-blower who exposed the city's massive underfunding of its employee pension system.
Lansdowne also sabotaged U.S. Attorney Carol Lam when he testified for the defense in the federal "strippergate" prosecution of three San Diego City Council members.
A July 1, 2005, Union-Tribune editorial was very critical of the chief's action: "Thus it was an astonishing act of betrayal of his own officers, some of whom worked undercover for many months to assist the FBI in gathering critical evidence, that Police Chief William Lansdowne made a surprise appearance in court this week to vouch for (former City Council member Michael) Zucchet's good character. Lansdowne's testimony, offered voluntarily on behalf of the defense, amounted to a stinging repudiation of, not only his own department but also U.S. Attorney Carol Lam who brought the charges against Zucchet before a federal grand jury."
Also commenting at the time on Lansdowne's testimony was Jerry Sanders, then a candidate for mayor, who said: "I see it as a huge conflict of interest. If your department initiated the investigation and has been heavily involved in it, I don't think you go over and testify for the defense voluntarily. . . . It's unfortunate for the Police Department. I think it's going to have a lasting impact."
As San Diegans, we should all be troubled by this turn of events. If we are to restore the rule of law at City Hall those charged with the enforcement of the law must show by personal example their respect and commitment to abide by the law.
I rest my case.
—Aguirre is San Diego city attorney.
This is what Mayor Sanders is calling "illegal activity" in his new ordinance— *Restaurants would no longer be allowed to have live entertainment, if they serve alcohol.
Here is an example of what the future willlooks like under Sander's "Heavy Handed Ordinance"— Last night I observed, "A clown making a child smile and giving her a balloon animal"... in a restaurant that serves beer.
According to "*Sander's Non-Allowable Live Entertaiment Ordinance" we can't have this kind of behavior it could lead to a restaurant becoming a bar!
Entertainers aren’t the problem, so please Mr. Mayor don’t penalize them.
Mayor Sander’s has proposed new restrictive conditions on restaurants when granting a liquor license that would no longer allow restaurants to have live entertainment.
So there will be no Mariachis as you sip your margaritas. Isn’t it live music that helped create Barzarr Del Mondo’s lovely atmosphere, that brought in 20-million in taxes per year, before the government stupidly took the lease away from Diane Powers? How about Covette Dinner ... "NO live DJ or dancing waiters and waitresses?"
Shouldn’t we be promoting the arts and helping artists make a living?
A guitarist, singer or violinist playing while you dine you should not be a crime!
And isn’t it better to have food with your alcohol than to drink on an empty stomach. You would think a ex-police chief now mayor and the current police chief would know this.
This isn’t the first assault on live performance artists in San Diego.
Under Former-Mayor Golding, the city council illegally went behind closed doors, and voted to require restaurants and coffee houses with live performers to have expensive cabaret licenses. The mayor and police said, “This would help pay for vice needed for raiding rave parties.” Instead it caused the local musicians/entertainers to lose work.
Is it that artists have it so easy when making a living in this town? Maybe they should be asked?
Doesn't it befit us having young people off the streets in coffee houses listening to music in a safe environment. Why aren’tr police and politicians to encourage this? For example, famous musician Jason Maraz, started his career at Newbreak Coffee in OB years back. Thirty or more well behaved teens would be there on the nights he played, NOT drinking alcohol or taking drugs.
A couple years ago a friend’s wife was ticketed for performing a belly dancing act at a local restaurant. Are singing telegram performers and groups singing happy birthday soon going to be arrested?
Live entertainment is considered a plus in cities like New York and San Francisco. It draw in both local clientele and promotes tourism. But, as usual, San Diego has another mayor that seems to be clueless.
San Diego seems to be geared only towards the wealthy who can afford venues like the Old Globe, symphonies, and expensive concerts and plays.
If Sanders has his way, our only other choice for live entertainment will be to sit in a bar with a bunch of drunks.
Entertainers aren’t the problem, out of control drinkers are, so don’t penalize the artists and restaurant owners.
—Kathy Blavatt, Watchdog & Artist
City to change conditions for obtaining liquor license
By ELIZABETH MALLOY, The Daily Transcript, March 22, 2007
The city of San Diego plans to ask the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to approve new conditions on restaurants when granting a liquor license in an attempt to keep local eateries from turning into bars and nightclubs, Mayor Jerry Sanders announced Thursday.Under the new process, all restaurant applicants will continue to request a license directly from the state ABC, which has the sole authority for issuing alcohol licenses. The San Diego Police Department would then review all applications and determine whether to protest on a case-by-case basis.
*Restaurants would no longer be allowed to have live entertainment or sell alcohol for off-premise consumption, and food must constitute at least 50 percent of total revenue.In the Gaslamp Quarter downtown, Sanders proposed additional conditions of adequate on-site security personnel and no alcohol service on patios adjacent to public sidewalks after midnight.
“These conditions attempt to strike a balance between the city‚s economic development needs and public safety concerns,‰ Sanders said in a press release” In addition, the guidelines seek to ensure that restaurants which apply for an alcohol license remain a restaurant and do not morph into a bar or nightclub.
The adoption of the proposed conditions would clear 40 licenses citywide that have been pending approval and will also make the process more predictable going forward for restaurant owners seeking a liquor license, according to the mayor.‘Restaurants are a driving force in San Diego‚s economy," Sanders said in a written notice. "They create jobs, produce tax revenues for the region, and contribute immensely to the quality of life in our neighborhoods and the vibrancy of our city. The economic reality of the restaurant business is that the ability to serve beer, wine and liquor with meals is a major component of their ability to attract customers and stay economically viable.
“I want to recognize Police Chief William Lansdowne for his willingness to listen to all sides on this issue and to work with my office and state ABC representatives to propose a solution that strikes the right balance between public safety concerns and the city‚s need to expand its economic base by fostering new establishments like restaurants that help continue the revitalization of neighborhoods,Æ Sanders added.Patrick Shipley, director of local government for the California Restaurant Associations‚ San Diego office, said his organization worked with the mayor and police department on the issue and they are satisfied with the agreement. Shipley said he does not believe the ban on selling alcohol for consumption outside the restaurant applies to breweries and vineyards with restaurants attached.
Send your thoughts and comments to Elizabeth.Malloy@sddt.comIn
City to change conditions for obtaining liquor license
The problem I have with this is that the police are making decissions outside of Civil elected control.
Laws are for the legislature not police officers.
This is the second time the police chief has done this the other is the warrants on Sunroad and tom story. the police are just the comboys in the justice system.
They round up the cattle but they are not the rancher / owner.—JS
City Planners vs. the people
03/28/07 , by Pat Flannery "The problem with the City's Development Services Department and the City's Planning Department is that if development in the city were to slow down, many of them would lose their jobs. Development fees pay their salaries. They have a vested interest in growth and could care less whether infrastructure comes first or never at all."
Therefore the planners are in conflict with property owners in established neighborhoods, who want stability not more density
Pat Flannery nailed this one...The other part of this equation is the money the developers pump into the mayorial and city council elections, thereby distorting the results.
One has only to go up against a major developer in the appeal process to witness how corrupted the system is in city hall.
And when the city gets sued on a permitted development and loses...who loses... not Development Services Director Escobar-Eck (Sunroad/Montgomery Field)...*we the taxpayers end up footing the bill.—JR
*WORST than footing the bill, if the developer wins in court, is a development most communities don't want.. many times substidied or or a giveawy public land deal... another loss to the tax payers!
In the case of "Sunroads" we get a dangerous building that is a BIG liablity to the City and taxpayers. The City Attorney is right to stop this! ..and investigate DSD. Something the DA and others should have done years ago. It is time to get rid of DSD gravy train.—Watchdog
1)Redevelopment owes City over $200 million
-CCDC share about $100 million
2) CCDC tax increment annual income-$100 million -$900,000 goes to city general fund
3)CCDC average salary-over $80,000
compare to City employees-$60,000
4) Nancy Graham has authority to sign contracts up to $250,000. No higher approval needed.
Port Commissioner Choices were Cushman a Longtime Insider & Black a Lobbyist/Insider! Cushman ended up winning after Akins changed her vote in a second motion.
After all the past Port controversies can't they can't do better? When do the corrupt deals STOP! Great insight from Voice of San Diego Writer..
Embarking on a Bad Course
Excerpt: Now the port is preparing to act on the desire to abolish the South Bay power plant as part of yet another grand development that may include the construction of a football stadium for the San Diego Chargers. Along with the developments of Lane Field, the Navy Broadway Complex and the continued cultivation of industrial opportunities, the Port Commission's decisions over the next year may very well be some of the most consequential in the region.
It is because of these momentous decisions on the agenda that the nomination to represent the city of San Diego on the Port Commission has become so intriguing and tense.
The port must go through these upcoming plans with the utmost of integrity -- avoiding conflicts of interest and even the perceptions of collusion every step of the way.
The Port Commission does not have to choose the consultant recommended to it by staff when it meets March 13. Regardless of the merits of the group that staff feels should be the one to manage the convention center project, the firm's association with the developer is intolerable.
In order for the San Diego region to do great things, local leaders with big ideas must first prove to residents that they will go through the sometimes tedious process of proving they are doing the best job they can in the best interest of taxpayers. To do this, officials must be willing to empanel independent overseers of their pet projects and to engage in examinations of whether certain arrangements can be considered objectionable.
Only then can they legitimately reassure us that an ambitious project can be completed without the provisional brand of impropriety that has come to define other major local undertakings.
"The Port Commission's decisions over the next year may very well be some of the most consequential in the region."voiceofsandiego.org Full Article <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
SAN DIEGO COUNCIL MEETING OF TUES., MARCH 6, 2007
ADOPTION AGENDA, DISCUSSION, OTHER LEGISLATIVE ITEMS RESOLUTIONS:
Item-349: Consideration of Nominees for Appointment to the San Diego Unified Port District Board of Commissioners.
(See memorandums from Mayor Sanders dated 1/4/2007 and 10/23/2006; Council President Peters and Councilmember Madaffer dated 1/4/2007; Councilmember Brian Maienschein dated 12/5/2006; and City Attorney dated 1/26/2007.)
COUNCIL PRESIDENT PETERS’ RECOMMENDATION:
Consider the following list of nominees and select one (1) to fill vacancies on the San Diego Unified Port District Board of Commissioners:
NOMINEE-Stephen P. Cushman
NOMINATED BY Councilmember Brian Maienschein
(reappointment requires a waiver of the two-
consecutive term limit provision of Council Policy 000-13)
Laurie J. Black
NOMINATED BY Council President Scott Peters & Councilmember Jim Madaffer
Council Members: It is my opinion that you have made a very bad, possibly dangerouse decision in re the Navy Broadway Complex
In your haste to please Sanders, you voted against a new EIR; and yea for the construction of buildings (on a fault area) that could possibly cause many deaths.
Listen to me, please. Water can not hold the weight required for large buildings, and I understand that there is potential for water to seep from the bay into that area.
I have been informed that the underground parking on the third and fourth levels of the Convention center are currently under water.
With the NBC vote, certain of you have placed the lives of numerous people at potential risk.
Because you voted to please certain people, if a calamity or work of nature occurs and there is loss of life, you will be responsible, along with everyone connected with the NBC project. Keep that in mind.
— Peter J. DiRenza, MS,MA
NBC or is it NTC... Same Gameplan
McMillin Company's Greg Block attacks Ian Trowbridge with admittedly not even studying the facts of the Navy Broadway Complex and Manchester deal. Manchester donated $50,000 to Mayor Sander's campaign and it really paid off. It brings back recollections of McMillin Company employees donating over $14,000 to Council member Madaffer who made the unwarranted motion to give Corky McMillin $8.5 million for infrastructure that was mandated by the state not the city. McMillin Co. is notorious for influence peddling via invitations to play golf, free tickets to civic events and other avenues. Greg Block needs to do his homework before he shoots his mouth off about public spirited citizens like Ian Trowbridge. —Watchdog
Letter sent to: Jim Waring and Bill Anderson:
Regarding the appointment of Steve Laub to the Planning Commission:
I have repeatedly urged both of you to work towards a more balanced Planning Commission. I do not think that the public is well-served by having 100% of the commissioners from the development industry. Additionally, there is little balance geographically, based on residence, and also lack of gender balance.
I don't have a complaint about Steve Laub or his qualifications, but with the overall makeup of the commission.
I can't imagine how it serves your purposes or Mayor Sanders' goals to have commissions and boards which are unbalanced, heavily biased, and don't have the respect or trust of residents and community leaders. There seems to be an effort by the Sanders management team to "grease the skids" for development applicants, and ignore the potential for a citizen backlash.
— Tom Mullaney, Friends of San Diego
Water reforms needed to curb inefficiency
San Diego Daily Transcript letter, December 12, 2006
Iam an engineer. I designed and built commercial water-pump stations from 1975 until the early 1990s. The stations served the same purpose as those used by the city of San Diego -- maintain a constant pipeline pressure at wide ranges of flow.
The companies I worked for bid competitively against similar companies. The company that offered cost-effective and efficient equipment stood a better chance of success in the market.In the early 1990s, I contracted directly with the city of San Diego to check its pump efficiency by using professional portable data-logging equipment, which I still have.
Most pump stations that I collected data on were horribly inefficient. At one city-pump station, I remember seeing three 125hp pumps running. I turned off two, and the remaining pump easily satisfied flow requirements. In the private sector where I had worked, such inefficiency never would have been allowed to continue.
Many of the city's pump stations were so inefficient that I would have been willing to replace equipment and make improvements at no cost to the city, if I could just have received a percentage of the energy savings.
Even some of the newer city-pump stations that I saw plans for were overly complicated, expensive and certainly inefficient. On one new system being installed, I was astounded at the cost the city was paying for it. Moreover, the brand-new pump station was not any more efficient than the older equipment it was replacing.
In the private sector, we would have built a station that was simpler, less costly to maintain, more efficient and priced at a small fraction of what the city was paying.
Many of the city's technical people who worked on the equipment were sharp enough, but were not working in an efficient manner. Once I had to meet someone on site. Three city employees showed up, each driving a two-ton truck. Unfortunately, this incident was not unusual.
One thing I could count on: There would be far more workers at the site than were needed. No private firm would pay these excess workers to just stand around.I've heard government employees imply their organizations are just as efficient as the private sector. From that, I can tell they have never run a business and probably spent little or no time working in the private sector.
Before the city passes the proposed massive boost in water and sewer "fees," it needs to implement some serious reforms on how these services are performed and how the equipment is maintained.
— Bob Whalen, Vista
Is the San Diego Chamber of Commerce Running Our City Government?
During the City Council District 2 race, after Zucchett stepped down, the San Diego Chamber of Commerce hosted a candidates forum. The Chamber’s website announcement for the forum prominently displayed the City of San Diego’s LOGO at the top, even though only a few Chamber selected candidates were allowed to participate in the forum.
I also found it interesting that the Chamber’s candidate questionnaire didn’t ask many questions about general business, but focused on development.
As more information has become available I find it very disturbing that the San Diego Chamber of Commerce has been writing major portions of our Cities Housing Element for the citywide general plan that is now going through the approval process.
In my opinion, the San Diego Chamber Housing Action Plan runs contradictory to most of the checks and balances that keep us a democratic system of governant. It limits the public’s role in having a say in their own community planning process and their future growth. We are a city in massive debt, full of corruption, overbuilt with housing prices and sales dropping, and yet the Chamber along with the Building Industry Association wants:
- more entitlements
- to expedite projects (meaning fast-tracking)
- to take our public lands and canyons
- eliminate public participation and transparency
- remove environmental protections
We do not need the San Diego Chamber development insiders furthering the destruction of our city. Please take an active role in protecting San Diego.
— Kathleen Blavatt,, Watchgdog
STRONG DEVELOPER Form of Government
Back on November 18, 2002 Diann Shipione prophetically stated before the city council…“What concerns me is that the benefit enhancements were conditioned upon the retirement board approving this agreement, and that is, in my opinion, ethically troubling.... I’ll be quite frank with you, it almost appears to be corrupt.
”There is another area of great and growing concern to the citizens of every part of the city. This past election the public was led to believe that they were getting a strong mayor form of government.
Apparently what they really bought into was a STRONGER DEVELOPER form of government. The recent re-hiring of the notorious Escobar-Eck as head of Development Services at a six figure salary heightens the anger of those who want that department remerged back under the Planning Department. This would free up that salary to hire sorely needed police and by placing DSD’s salaries back in the general fund it would help avoid the public impression of public servants prostituting their work in return for large developer’s permit fees.
There are several other facits of Development Services that need correction. The City of San Diego's Hearing Officer continues under the new Strong whatever form of government. The Hearing Officer presides at public hearings and acts on items such as permits, maps, variances and other matters in accordance with the Land Development Code <http://www.sandiego.gov/development-services/industry/codes.shtml#ldcode> (Process 3). The current hearing officer is employed by the Development Services Department. He acts as the judge and jury. This past Weds. the hearing officer ignored the deputy city attorneys advice and found against the local residents and the local planning board in favor of the large developer. Is anyone surprised?
Then there is the Technical Advisory Committee; Whose Primary reps are from LU& H, ASLA, EDC, SBAB, CELSOC, SEAB, BID, AIA, San Diego Chamber, a Contractor, 4 developers, 2 titled Accessability. If TAC were a boat all of its ballast is on the developers side.
Sadly laughable is the last wording in their mission statement, “to advocate for quality development to meet the needs of all citizens of San Diego.”
Their real endeavor is in the first part of their mission statement…”To advise the Mayor …on Development Services Review …to reduce processing time.
In other words to methodically shortcut public review and bypass citizen concerns by pushing project reviews down to their lowest level.
— Jarvis Ross, Watchdog
A Taxing Solution to Police Force Woes
San Diego Business Journal, December 11, 2006, Opinion Letter
In San Diego, we know that our police force is understaffed. We are short 200 officers. Not enough money in the budget, we are told. But there is a possible solution, albeit not a 100 percent solution.
Downtown redevelopment collects about $74 million in property taxes, of which none goes to finance the Police Department.
State law does not allow these taxes for operations -- only for capital expenses.
The solution was proposed in two 2004 memos to the City Council, one by then-City Attorney Casey Gwinn and the other by then-Community Development Director Hank Cunningham.
Both proposed that an effort be made to amend the state law.
There was spirited opposition from Centre City Development Corp.
Result: The issue never made it to the council agenda. So, there was no effort to amend state law. But the potential still exists.
Prediction: This council will continue to bury the proposal.
—Melvin Shapiro San Diego
Many WATCHDOGSs believe a better solution is to get rid of CCDC/Downtown Redevelopment and many of the other Redevelopment Projects Areas.
This would solve a large part of our general fund/city services shortages.
It would also help halt the eminent domain abuses, blotted Redevelopment Agency salaries, developer giveaways and bring more transparency back into City politics
Concerned over safety
The General Plan Focuses, Public Facility Service & Safety:
"Average Emergency Response Time for Peninsula." (Priority E-imminent threat to health ie. serious injury collisions; ambulance needed;attempted suicide) is OVER EIGHT MINUTES! (Closer to 8 1/2! and we have No hospitals within 1/2 an hour after hours). The closest Emergency facilities are across from Domino's on Midway-with a housing Density that will be increasing substantially with several projects of over 40 units each). Of the 5 subareas of Peninsula, Pt. Loma Heights has the quickest response time at 7.48 minutes, the longest is Roseville/Fleetridge at 9.55 minutes!!
For Priority One-(ie. felony crimes; lost children; child abuse; prowlers;minor injury collisions; disturbances involving weapons or violence; hazardous materials spills;
bomb threats). Average Emergency Response Time: 15 MINUTES! From a 'quick?''of 12.55 minutes in Pt. Loma Heights to the Longest Response time in the Wooded Area of: 16.97 Minutes!
This is the Time to o say something, concerning the Safety of your Children, your Parents, Relatives, .
Specific Areas of the General Plan that may be Critical to Peruse with recent Supreme Court Decisions:
When your neighbor, or a developer, decides to turn your property into Condominiums under "Eminent Domain" because it makes the City more Taxes, you might wonder 'how did that can happen?'
Should we be concerned if more use "Eminent Domain" is put into the General Plan,
An 'expert' real estate attorney admitted that "Redevelopment and Eminent Domain protections for new buyers or sellers of Real Estate would take a whole Two Hour Seminar." Zoning can change quickly, without a vote of the people or notice to property owners under 'Redevelopment' already.
The City's 'Joint Powers Authority' , whose Eminent Domain Powers can be expanded to include residences and other private properties around schools, has been granted one site by the State with San Diego Unified School District.14-16 others were originally 'applied for'.
Following Existing Laws such as the Coastal Act and the Existing Local Land Use Plan (ie. concerning Public View Corridors from Streets, Bluffs or Street Endings on both sides of the Peninsula) appear to be Ignored already by the 'streamlined' DSD. Do these 'amendments' illegally Contradict them? 'Preserving, Protecting and Enhancing Public Views from Public View Corridors" have already been attacked & ignored by those intent on making Maximum Profits for personal Gain at the Community's Maximum Loss for future generations. Is the City of San Diego, under Murphy's last directions through the Planning Dept. and Develop(er)ment Services Dept. 'input' changing the rules to make it now 'legal?' Will Peninsula have any regulations, as this week, the City of Coronado voted, to protect the overbuilding and 'mansionizing' of lots in our Local Land Use Plan? Or will neighbor respect neighbor, to at least some degree to keep our 'community' one where neighbors are 'not eternal enemies?'
Public Facilities and Infrastructure:
Only Feeble attempts are mentioned in the General Plan to require funding for impacted facilities/ or increased impact and needs for public services. Only when the 'need' is discovered as great and the 'Development Impact Fees' have already been paid, will there even be any 'assessment' or 'determination' of impact, too late for funding, unless the entire area's homes are taxed additionally. Development Impact Fees are obviously way out of date and mismanaged with a department that does not have to contribute to or determine cumulative impacts to the local Public Facilities Impact on Existing Streets, Recreation Facilities, Parks, Lighting, Police, Paramedic or Fire Needs, no matter what the Increased or Cumulative Impacts!! (ie. since 2001 when construction began, these increased response times have been consistent and growing. What will happen when the 'jobs' at NTC go from apprx. 200 now to '8,000 projected?)
The Peninsula is drastically 'short' on Parks and Recreation for its 62,000+ Residents (& visitors on top of that), having only 26 acres of Dedicated Parks (2) where it should have a minimum of 93 acres! Under the 'housing emergency' status, any 'undedicated lands' can be converted to 'housing!'
Are the 46 'additional acres' at NTC 'dedicated?' We were, 'in '89's Local Land Use Plan, the Peninsula Community Plan, supposed to have over "10,000 sq. ft." of a "Recreational Facility." Are we any closer to two decades later?
We have loss many of Coastal Public View Corridors and have very little 'additional' land left to put into 'parks' on Peninsula. Now, State Historic Route' Rosecrans St., the local access from Loma Portal, due to poor design fluxes between gridlocked to a speedway due to the elimination of the emergency side lane. What is left to 'conserve?'
FYI, the Noise from Lindbergh Field, after many meetings with the AA, their expected projections, even for the short term, place "100,000 more flights coming out of Lindbergh Field's one runway by the Year 2030"-a 25-year projection.
In one year, we have already reached Year EIGHT in numbers of Increased Flights. Because of this, the numbers of increased housing units impacted is projected to grow by 17,000 in year 2030. Already, within just months, the average "missed approach", "Go Around" or "Separation," causing the '250 heading, the emergency heading for takeoffs,' have gone from "30 per month," to "90 per month," with the latest numbers at "120 per month!" If the noise bothers you now, what will it be in another year? Is 'enhancing Safety?'
Mobility: Does it include anything like an Alternative Transit System for not only the City, but the entire county? No. A new airport that will cause "the Federal Government to Pay for any kind of transportation to and from the New International Airport," as quoted twice by former Senator Brian Bilbray? Maybe this 'city' better start thinking of the entire region before it becomes as gridlocked as Los Angeles or New York, before it's too late. Otherwise will San Diego be a 'dead end' or a 'cesspool,' with no inexpensive, efficient and effective way to circulate citizens or members of our military from one end of our county (or base), or country (not to mention 'international trade' of goods, services or people) to another?
As if anyone wasn't aware, why, if we have an 'affordable housing crisis' aren't 'affordable' or 'smaller houses on smaller lots' being the only ones 'permitted?'
There are 'options' to allowing all 'developable' lands being mismanaged into large mansions on acre+ lots! It sure makes the developers lots of profits..sort of like NTC.
Since when did the City become beholden to funnel $12 million+/year into a fund that should be funded by the very businesses making all the profits from the increased population? The Chambers of Commerce? Wasn't that their 'purpose?' Or is San Diego 'promoting' its own demise of the Quality of Life (along with rights lost by vote of the U.S. Supreme Court?) that is quickly disappearing?
Why is The City's "proposal" to Prioritize New Development AHEAD of Existing Neighborhoods? "This is Absurd," as noted by another Planning Board Chair. "Does the Entire City Government Serve to Facilitate Growth?" What happened to 'Stability'?
In the General Plan, there is little attempt to preserve the Integrity of 'Single Family Neighborhoods" For example, large sections of Uptown are marked "Single Family Conversion to MULTI-FAMIILY." Is this what 'residents' of Peninsula are ready to give up?
Please, take a few minutes, or 1/2 an hour to quickly review some of these 'proposed policies' for the "General Plan Update" at: www.sandiego.gov/planning
It may make the difference between what Peninsulans love about their neighborhood or becoming like Pacific or Mission Beach....
—Cynthia Conger, Peninsula Community
Manchester Broadway Complex Project Seen as Another Corrupt Insider Deal
By Kathleen Blavatt, San Diego Coastal Alliance
Lori Saldaña held a public forum August 18, 2006, on the development proposed for the Broadway Complex.
RADM Len Hering, USN Commander/Navy Region Southwest, delivered a canned speech that sounded like it was written by master developer Manchester. Directly after speaking he bugged out, leaving a lower ranked officer, only on the job for four weeks, to answer questions.
The only question he officercould answer was when he was asked, “Why does the Military need their building there?” “ His weak answer was that a family recently stopped by the Navy Broadway Complex to ask, “How do we send our mail to an overseas soldier.” The offer said they needed to be at that location so they would be available to people.
Asked “Why not Point Loma or inland at East Village? Wouldn’t that be still centrally located and safer from terrorism? “Terrorism is not to be a big concern, they need to be central.”
Unlike the young officer, Michael Warburton, Executive Director of the Public Trust Alliance, presented an in-depth presentation on the “History of the Public Trusts Doctrine” and the importance of protecting our coastal public lands.
Debra Lee of the California Coastal Commission, stated, and outlined, the reasoning of why the site will require a new consistency determination and a new coastal development permit.
What we found at this meeting was that after years of living in a culture of corruption, wise San Diegans have learned to ask questions, see the mistakes of the past, and filter lies, The community members and organizations who all came out in force to oppose the project went for the jugular.
Just a sampling of public comments included:
- "We need a Grand Jury investigation on Naval Training Center and this deal.""Why does the Navy keep giving away public land that was given to them only to be used for military purposes?" "It was not to be taken away from the public domain for commercial use.""Why isn’t the State presuming putting the Broadway property back into tidelands and public control?""Why does Manchester keep getting our prime public bay front land for his development projects?" "What’s the deal that was reached on Broadway behind closed doors?"Many comparisons were made to the “Naval Training Center giveaway” and the many “bait n’ switch deals”."Why isn’t the City Council stepping in since they oversee CCDC? (As City Beat article was referred to this.)"Why isn't a new Environmental Impact Report being done?"Will the Viejas connection be a step toward future casinos on the bay?We do not want timeshares and condos here and on tideland making us like Honolulu or Miami.
- “Why didn’t this going through the BRAC process so the public can participate, instead of behind closed doors?”
… and the list goes on and on.
Thank Lori Saldaña for this PUBLIC forum to voice the publics opinions. San Diegans are sick of the public land giveaways to wealthy connected developers and want it to STOP!
The week following this meeting, in typical “Enron by the Sea” fashion, the San Diego Downtown Partnership voted to support the Navy Broadway Project,... The next week the San Diego Chamber of Commerce!
Kroll Presentation on June 8
I was not very impressed by Kroll. l found the report to be redundant, and a worthless piece of crap. It looked as if it was just thrown together to satisfy a deadline requested by Sanders.
The report had no substance to speak of and it seemed to me, It was a bunch of words laid out simply to protect certain council members, in hopes of mitigating their illlegal actions. I find it very difficult to believe that Peters, Atkins, Maienshein, ("let them sue us") Madaffer, had no knowledge of the City Charter, the City and State Constitutions, and the Municipal Codes.
It was so obvious that these four me a culpa'd the Kroll representatives to death; they acted guilty and presented themselves as a pack of wimpy children who had been caught with their dirty, little fingers in the cookie jar.
As usual, Peters was his obnoxious self; he and the rest of that clique were so afraid Aguirre was going to catch Kroll in error, PETERS tried on two occasions to silence him. Unsuccessfully, of course. Good for Aguirre. The guilty were thinking only of themselves not of the citizens of this City who have been deprived of millions of dollars by their illegal actions and malfeasance in office.
They should all resign, not only for their actions but also for the ommissions of legal acts.
Benito Romano was tripped up by you and his own ignorance of the facts in the report.
Do you think he had anything to do with writing it? Or perhaps he and the others just brainstormed what to put in the report to protect the dirty four?
Arthur Levitt showed himself for just what he is; an irrascible obnoxious, uncouth old man who realized you were pulling the truth out of Romano, et al.
He did not know just how to get you to cease and desist. As a result, he embarrassed and made an ass of himself.
He accused Aguirre of "outburst" which certainly indicated he knew not what he was doing or saying.
Levitt is an old, old man. He should get out of the business and leave the "driving to us."
Anyhow Aguirre, did a great job talking for the people, and that
was good; if we had to depend on the ignorant council nothing would get done.—Peter
Please no more bureaucracy we can't even afford the existing one
The mayor ran on a platform of reducing our overhead. Unfortunately he seems to focus on eliminating the people that do the physical labor rather than the ones that hire consultants and collect the big pensions upon retirement.
With the events of this past few days it would seem like we should move away from investing in the tourist and convention industry and focus more on the pharmaceutical and tech industries. The rising price of fuel and the new liquid terror threat will continue to impact the former.
It is also time that we move away from the redevelopment ponzi scheme of business. The whole thing is based upon stealing private property by threat of condemnation under the ruse of some hacks definition of blight. The supreme court left the door open for state and local governments to protect the publics property rights. What has this city done? ZIP!
It is time to move Development Services back under the Planning Department where it was before McCrory corrupted that operation. The big developers buy their way in that department with worthless flim-flam E.I.Rs, expediting fees that the small businesses can't afford and the big ones just pass along. Then the city could cut loose the employees that are loaned to the redevelopment agency. The same ones that were caught running a crooked election in the North bay area (I witnessed that one.)
By the way did you listen to the Kroll report on T.V.? If you listened carefully they did exactly what they were hired to do. Present strongly worded slaps on the wrists with white wash and backpeddling on anything more than that. The other thing is when you or I hire someone we have to pay the bill not someone else like your or my neighbors (taxpayers). Seems like KROLL also recommended hiring more "independent" accountants. Did they mean ones that worked for Enron, Worldcom, Tyco, Perigrine, Adelphia and the like?
—Jarvis Ross, Point Loma
Pat Flannery May City Council Update
5/16/06, Yesterday, a well-known hit man for the Municipal Employee's Association, attorney Dan Coffee acting under the sickening protection of Council President Scott Peters (who himself owes his Council Presidency position to MEA sponsorship) demeaned the decorum of City Hall by engaging in a lengthy and disgusting personal rant against our elected City Attorney Mike Aguirre.
Why? Because Peters and his MEA friends are in mortal dread of the growing wrath of the people over the rape of the city's pension fund. Peters even allowed Howard Guess, well known to him as an MEA member and fierce opponent of Aguirre, to masquerade as an Aguirre supporter so that Peters could allocate 15 more minutes to those opposing Aguirre. Now that's dirty pool and Aguirre called him on it.Yesterdays' rants coordinated by Peters clearly indicates how desperately some Council Members fear the growing success of Aguirre's pursuit of pension illegalities.
The election of Mike Aguirre deprived the MEA and their Council friends (a devil's brew if ever there was one) of a compliant City Attorney. Previous holders of that Office such as Casey Gwinn not only facilitated the MEA in raping the City by ignoring the illegal pension benefits but by signing off on the billion dollar giveaway to developer Corky McMillan and "negotiating" the notorious Chargers' ticket guarantee.
So rather than being offended by yesterday's coordinated rants I am encouraged that Mike Aguirre's fight against greed is starting to bite.It seems to me that Peters for one is feeling the heat. If an American icon like Congressman "Duke" Cunningham can go to the pokey, mere City Council Members are clearly vulnerable. If Scott Peters has no consciousness of guilt why is he resisting Aguirre's request for a deposition regarding his involvement in the pension problem? Why will Peters not sit down with our City Attorney and help him in his enquiries? To me such behavior has all the hallmarks of consciousness of guilt.
For more Blog insight: patflannery.com/SanDiegoToday.htm
Watchdog to Watchdog: Erica Mendelson and Carl deMaio:
I enjoyed our discussion when we met a year ago. Certainly our local gov't needs many watchdogs, and I had hopes that your group could perform a positive role.
I am disturbed by your recent press release praising Acle and Faulconer. In my opinion, all four council candidates have voiced generalities about making gov't more efficient, cutting waste, etc. Their written and verbal statements offer fews clues about their fiscal policies. What I find more meaningful is to look at their civic and employment backgrounds and who's backing them.
The Performance Institute's endorsement of Sanders and now Faulconer and Acle make it appear that you are a promotion arm for Republicans. I am registered as a Republican, but do not give much weight to party affiliation at election time. I can't say that I've found Republicans to be more financially responsible or conservative. Compare Clinton's surpluses to the Reagan or George W. Bush deficits. Or Maureen O'Connor's record to the giveaway years under Susan Golding.
This leads to a crucial question: Who bears more responsibility for the city's financial crisis: Union employees at the city who negotiated higher wages and benefits? Or the mega-project promoters who encouraged large expenditures of public money for the Ballpark, Republican convention, Convention Center, stadium expansion, Chargers ticket guarantee, NTC, etc., thus diverting money from infrastructure and the pension fund?
Since infrastructure deficits are a huge and growing problem, †which candidate is more likely to demand fully-funded infrastructure before new development is approved? (the street & freeway improvements, mass transit, parks, libraries and schools needed to serve the new projects)
Kevin Faulconer is inextricably tied to the downtown business and development communities. If elected for four or eight years, he would likely go back to his PR firm after his term expires.
How can he make objective decisions, when his actions on the council might make him a hero or pariah to developers and downtown growth promoters? What if he took a firm stance against continued growth subsidies, and insisted that new development could not continue downtown without all the needed infrastructure? Should he ignore the impact on his associates at his PR company, and his later job prospects? It seems a lot to ask of a public relations executive to jeopardize his financial future.
Ideally, the development and business communities would be grateful to a councilmember who insisted on responsible financial policies, including:
* full cost accounting
* infrastructure concurrent with new development
* maintaining or improving levels of service, and making new development pay its own way
I haven't seen that level of civic spirit and maturity with our local business leaders-- certainly not from CCDC, the developers, or the downtown business leaders.
I think that the managers at the Performance Institute have to ask themselves: Do you champion good government, including complete and honest financial planning, or do you support the continuation of San Diego's system of deteriorating quality of life, based on enrichment of the few at the expense of the many?
Downtown fiasco: A practical application of this question would be the proposed Downtown Community Plan. This plan seeks to DOUBLE housing units and commercial space with an appalling lack of infrastructure. The Planning Commission will hear this issue on Jan 12, and the Council soon after. I'd be interested to hear the Performance Institute's opinion about the "unacceptable levels of service" predicted in the EIR, and CCDC's insistence on ignoring the needed infrastructure. —Tom Mullaney, Friends of San Diego
Union-Tribune, Letters to the editor, January 8, 2006
'Smooth operator' put city on rough road Regarding "
The smooth operator / Jack McGrory led City Hall before the storm hit. Did he lead it into trouble?" (News, Dec. 18): This Watchdog report on former City Manager Jack McGrory's responsibility for the pension scandal leaves the impression that it was someone else's screw-up, not his.
The city's real watchdog, City Attorney Mike Aguirre, has it right that McGrory's role in the pension scandal is "outside the statute of limitations." Old genial, smooth, affable Jack becomes less so, and downright intimidating when he pulls Aguirre aside and whispers, "That's not funny, Mike!"
No, it's not funny. To deliberately underfund the pension system, old magical, clever Jack had to blatantly violate the city charter, the city pension ordinance and fundamental fiduciary principles. (He had an official position on the Retirement Board that he delegated to an underling.)
Did he intimidate Retirement Board members (who were also his at-will employees)? He sure did. Did he front-load the benefits to the city's general fund ($10 million a year) and back-load a possible balloon payment ($500 million) to the Retirement Fund? He sure did. Did he promise to increase pension benefits generously for council members, city employees including himself, Retirement Board members and staff? He sure did.
Well, whose money did he take to do this? Much of it belonged to older retirees whose benefits were fully paid for, and he placed a huge burden on future taxpayers. His proposed solution if he were still city manager: a $500 million, 40-year bond issue to be paid by current taxpayers, their children and grandchildren.
McGrory took money from old people (many of whom are of the "Greatest Generation") and gave it to himself and his cronies, the council, and employees so they could have much better pensions and balance the budget. Of course, none of this was done openly. And his methods were copied by those who followed him. Between him and them, the city is virtually ruined financially.
None of this is funny, Jack! — DAVID W. WOOD, San Diego
"Smooth operator" indeed!
How many people could parlay a six-year employment into a retirement package that will pay former City Manager McGrory a minimum of $7,195 per month for the rest of his life? Please don't tell me that the package will also include health care insurance and automatic annual increases based on the rate of inflation.
Even without these perks, if we assume he lives to age 80 (my age), he will have received, from his reported retirement age of 48, a total of $2,762,880, or $460,480 per year ($38,373 per month) of employment.Like the peasants at the time of the French Revolution, it seems as if it is time for us to man the barricades and demand that our bureaucratic government be overthrown and the government be returned to the democratic principles that made our nation great. We can no longer continue to put the pigs in charge of the cabbage patch.
— RICHARD ALBRECHT, San Diego
Kehoe uses "Blight" and "JPA" to take Our Homes for Her Developer Buddies
I was insensed when. Kehoe read her statement on City Heights.... burned out buildings INDEED!!!!!
Ms. Kehoe apparently has a different memory than the rest ofus... and it was her push that created the San Diego Model School Development Agency, a joint powersagency, which proposes to take somewhere between 125-180 mostly single-family homes and businesess to replace housing for 4 schools, the Albertsons centerat Fairmount and University, Price Charitites Building (one of the abusers of ED law) and the townhomes across from the Albertsons Center...approximately 700 homes.. to put in 500 CONDOS, for sale at market rate. There are many ways to abuse the power of ED, and I agree that "Blight" is a big word with many meanings. —City Heights
San Diego Lincoln Club's Annual Dinner Honors Corruption and Thievery. Maybe our District Attorney needs to find some new friends. —Wathdog
ANDREW DONOHUE, Voice of San Diego, 12/1/05
Mayor-elect Jerry Sanders is the headliner for the San Diego Lincoln Club's annual dinner scheduled for Dec. 15. The black-tie-optional event will honor recently deceased developer Corky McMillin.
The first name on the Honorary Host Committee for the event: Randy "Duke" Cunningham, who was a congressman until stepping down yesterday and pleading guilty to taking $2.4 million in bribes tied to defense contracts.
Other sponsors include Kourosh Hangafarin, the Republican donor whose brief stay on the Port Commission earlier this year ended in controversy over unauthorized business done in Cuba, and Manchester Financial Group.
District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis is also listed as an honorary host.
SD Insiders Keep on Pushing Another Bersin/Murphy Style Regime
11.7.05, Please read letter below about the plan to sell off & redevelop school land. Notice the Chamber of Commerce is involved.
I find it interesting that the night of the election is the night the School Board will vote to approve its inventory of 33 surplus properties.
Another point for those that don't know is Admiral Froman (Sanders choice of Chief of Staff) and Adm. Smith, both signed off on NTC, and then got million dollar contracts with the School District.
Please read the following letter by Fran Zimmerman in response to the UT article.
1) On Tuesday the School Board will vote on a proposed appointment
of Jose Luis Betancourt, recently retired Navy admiral and former
Navy "mayor" of San Diego, to be the Chief Administrative Officer of the district, in charge of facilities, property, transportation (buses), business operations and finance. This guy follows in the footsteps of Ronne Froman and presently sits on the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
2) Also on Tuesday, the School Board will vote to approve its inventory of 33 surplus properties.
3) Do you see any possible pattern here or opportunity for collaboration/collusion on land-use matters between the financially-strapped City under Sanders/Froman and the financially-strapped school district with Betancourt as CAO? Would that be good or bad for the community should such collaboration/collusion come to pass?
4) The only thing you're not responsible for in that terrible puff-piece on Ronne Froman is the absolutely misleading headline "Resume does the talking...." I hope you are embarrassed to have your name on that story and no wonder there is no e-mail contact for you at the end of it.
Surely you saw my letter to the Voice the other day questioning Froman's silence. (The Union-Tribune will not run my letter on this topic.) Surely the Voice letter is why youcalled me in the first place. I hope somebody else nixed your actually following up with me and prohibited you from including a single negative fact about Froman.
5) I am incredulous that you ask Lou Smith for his opinion of a fellow admiral, both of whom had corporate-style huge salaries with bonuses when they were at the school district. You never mention they were both Bersin hires?
You choose not to know that while they were on the school district payroll, the confidential Navy records of 2002 anti-Bersin school board candidate Jeff Lee were leaked to the press, to Lee's detriment and narrow defeat?
You ask Phil Blair, Mr. Joined-at-the-Hip temp agency business partner of Chamber of Commerce Business Roundtable operative Mel Katz, his
"opinion" about Froman, whom he had hired for the Red Cross sinecure?
You bury the fact that Froman has been campaigning for Sanders all along, and you lead with talk of "accolades?" You never talk to Sanders/Froman campaign consultant Tom Shepard about her being kept under wraps or even say whether or not he will talk to you?
6) As for other matters from the time Froman was at the school district, you never mention Rick Knott, a national expert on school finance and a longtime school district finance person with impeccable credentials who was driven off by Froman and took retirement, only to go to work for Los Angeles public schools?
After Froman left, he was re-hired one day a week by San Diego schools to help with our massive budget issues. You mention Froman's Office Depot plan: it cost the school district more per item than its previous purchasing plan and was shortly thereafter replaced by a system of bulk purchasing among many collaborating California school districts.
You mention that revenue was raised "through contracts with Pepsi and Coke." Well, it was an exclusive contract with Coke mandating only Coke products to be sold on our high school campuses -- and in all school district vending machines -- at a time when the state's other large urban school districts of Los Angeles and San Francisco had banned all soft drinks from their premises.
7) You mention that John deBeck likely will vote for Frye, but offer no equivalent information about anyone else's mayoral choices? Your story was a disgrace, Matt.
Lack of representation communities/citizen planning boards continues
Particularly at this time of shaken public faith in City Hall, actions of the Council should be beyond reproach and consistent with city laws and policies.
The reappointment of Barry Schultz and nomination of Robert S. Griswold to the San Diego Planning Instead of appointing two members to the Planning Commission that continue the consolidation of membership in narrow geographical areas and within the developer community, the issue of representation should be addressed.
The lack of representation from ethnic communities and the citizen planning boards stands out. The city would be far better served to see appointments by at-large citizens to fill these gaps. Without it, the us-versus-them polarization threatening to explode this city will only continue to grow. John McNab
Government for the people.
We want it, we deserve it, but we don't have it.
The Planning Commission is made up nearly 100% of real estate professionals. This leads to frequent conflicts of interest. Commissioners often have to recuse themselves because they have a business relationship with the developer/ applicant.
Even worse, the lack of balance gives the impression that the Planning Commission is an insiders' club formed to approve development projects for their clients and future clients.
WHAT'S NEEDED is a Planning Commission that has a balance of interests, including people with a background in urban planning.
Thus, only four Council Districts are represented.
With Griswold appointed there are two Planning Commissioners from Sabre Springs (population of only 9,971 as of 1/1/04).
The appointment of Griswold was contrary to City Charter Section 42 (Membership Selection) which states the following:"The appointing authority in selecting appointees to commissions, boards, committees or panels shall take into consideration sex, race and geographical area so the membership of such commissions, boards, committees or panels shall reflect the entire community." The current composition certainly does not reflect the entire community, and the appointment of Griswold further compounded this disparity with the City Charter.
The public deserves a well-balanced Planning Commission, free from bias and conflict of interest, this is current board is unacceptable.
—Tom Mullaney, Friends of San Diego
Jerry Sanders, Retired Police Chief
(by his own admission he retired due to stress)
Statements by Sanders Thursday, June 16, 2005
“CITY HALL MUST CHANGE – OUR FUTURE DEPENDS ON IT”
“A pension shortfall over $1.3 billion, bloated bureaucracy, criminal investigations and a culture of secrecy are all the result of failed leadership.
The city’s financial meltdown threatens our future: Pot holes, library cutbacks, aging safety equipment, park maintenance and other basic services.”
So what is Sander’s answer as to how to solve the pension crisis?
Well obviously he isn’t going to do anything that would have a negative impact on his pension.
Obviously neither he nor his opponent will cut back on fire or police personnel. Nor will Sanders cut back on Development Services personnel because that department is the one that services the developer special interests that are backing Sander’s campaign.
Yet he claims he will cut back city personnel. That leaves only those departments that serve the public and have already suffered severe cutbacks… Parks & Recreation staff and hours, Infrastructure replacement and repair (potholes, sewer lines ,water lines), Library staff and hours and other basic service personnel.
So Sander’s plan is really a smoke screen full of sound bites of promise but lacking in practical substance.
Not just an ear...but the head and heart!
The fate of 32nd Street Canyon and other valued undeveloped community parcels may rest on the results of the coming election. Therefore, we ask you to take advantage of one or both coming opportunities (see opportunities below the next 2 paragraphs) to get to know the candidates and put questions to them directly.
Mayoral candidate Jerry Sanders has said he supports selling "non-essential" city assets to help raise revenues. Bear in mind that many so-called "remnant parcels" are the open spaces that give our communities their character. It is imperative that these remnant parcels should not be sold to developers but should instead by retained as parkland. They are public land. Our taxes paid for them and we should have a say in their fate. Unless citizens and communities immediately lay claim to these parcels and specifically ask the City to retain them, they may be sold. Housing and commercial property will replace whatever is there now. Even if the open spaces are in poor shape, they represent potential pocket parks. Think how few of these San Diego has compared to more enlightened cities. Think how difficult it is to acquire parkland. Demand that the City and mayoral candidates stand behind every undeveloped parcel for what it is, a park or a potential park. These are not "non-essential." They are critical for providing clean air, clean water, energy conservation and high quality neighborhoods. — Watchdog
The San Diego Union-Tribune - Aug. 4, 2005, LETTERS
The editorial July 29 editorial "Campaign funds / Public financing cannot buy integrity" shows a complete disregard for the purpose of supporting a clean-elections bill. If the City Council members had to collect $5 from numerous city residents and accept the clean election provisions, the people of San Diego would be more likely to avoid things like the Cheetahs scandal or collusion between the council members and the labor groups that benefit from the pension fiasco.
Yes, the city would be taking on some costs, but won't the costs for the city and the public be lower in the long run? How much do we owe for the pension funding? What other deals have been made that haven't become public?
—CYNTHIA DEVEREUX, San Diego
Dear Professor Luna, Mesa College, Poly Sci Department
Regarding your remarks in your subject Union-Tribune piece. Your "three marks against " Donna Frye are badly flawed.
First: Donna does not present herself as an "outsider." If you attended Tuesday council meetings on a regular basis, as I do, she is quite the opposite. She is in the trenches fighting for the people and the small business owners against the corrupting developers like Corky McMillin and the eminent domain theft of small businesses as practiced by San Diego's redevelopment agencies.
Second: Donna is not in the pocket of big labor and contrary to your inferences she is neither supported by the MEA nor would she find it any more difficult to renegotiate with them than any other candidate. Actually, Sanders is more than likely to cave into them because of his conflicted interest.
Third: Have you also forgotten it was Sanders that retired from he police force due to "stress." As for Francis he lost his last bid for office in Las Vegas and high-tailed it for San Diego. Has anyone probed to see who is the real brains behind his business. Most people believe it was his wife who is a nurse that really thought up the idea.
I will say you are in line with the Union-Tribune bias though. They have consistantly used unflatering old photos of her and have supported Sanders just as they did, Golding, and Murphy before him. Thanks but no thanks to any more of their mayorial recommendations.
—Jarvis Ross, Point Loma
NO E.I.R., No Charger Deal
The problem is anyone familiar with how the city operates knows that if an E.I.R. were required typically the city has the developer hire the E.I.R preparer. Then if there are any negatives Development Services Department counters them with cute little phrases like...
"Unmittigatable", "Project Unfeasible (i.e.we can't ram this project through with this impediment therefore its the criticism that is unacceptable.)
The basic idea of Development Services Department is to shield the project from any negative impacts from the M.I.T. or citizen critics. Why? because the city's DSD lives off of the developer fees and critics of any project just get in the way of them collecting those fees. Sea World's more recent E.I.R. is a classic example.
MELVIN SHAPIRO 6/7/05: Memo to City Council:
CCDC BUDGET JUNE 14 Hearing.........My comments
1) Payback the debt to the City general fund-it's not all CDBG, million s are from sales tax, which is not restricted.
2) CCDC budget allocates $1.3 million for "city services". Does this seem adequate to you ? What is the true cost of police, firefightiers, storm drains, utilities, street maintenance,etc. etc.
3) CCDC staff tells the council that tax increment can only be spent downtown, Not true,
I have a letter on this subject from Alex Greenwood of the Community Development Dept citing Health & Safety Code 33445-a "it is irrelevant where the improvements are located as long as the legislatvie body determines that they will benefit the Project Area."
CCDC allocates Zero for payback of the City loan. Supposedly, their projects are more important, than the rest of the city's parks, rec centers, swimming pools, libraries, athletic fileds,potholes, police dept, fire dept. Here's an example of a vital project.
CCDC , with council approval , defers paying back its loan, so it can spend $12 million to remodel the Balboa Theatre. Do we have a theater shortage ?
How about the Civic Theatre, the Spreckels, 4th & B, Old Globe, Stardust, Old Town, Lyceum, La Jolla Playhouse and the new North Park theatre.
In fact, all of us are paying the $12 million, because of increased fees. and reduced city services. If CCDC paid us back we wouldn't need a "wish list."
Councilman Young asked why the city owns golfcourses and airports. I hope he asks why we own theaters when the private sector is perfectly capbale of being in this business. Staff reports show that the City or one of its corporations, will subsidize the Balboa as it now subsidizes the Old Globe.
"Dan Knew" A Response to Ron Carrico's piece "WHO KNEW"
Bruce, Scott, and Richard, people whom I all have had associations with, might not of known, but I DID!, and I DID something about it in suing the City of San Diego and City Council (Golding & Clan), -where many of these new councilmember came up from. Ron Carrico should of known because my attorney, Kent Wilson spelled it out in a SDDT article. As did the UT. But no one CARED!
My suit started in 1999, way before Shipone.
Sad thing to say is that citizens, and evenmore, councilmembers and their staffs don't listen.
Okay! Are you now listening???!!!! HERE IS THE NEXT BIG SCOOP! John Moores, and Malin Burnham is going to get the taxpayers to pay for their workers housing by have the government assist them with a EAH (Employer Assisted Housing) program. This will be involved in the new DT Ballpark development you've seen listed in the U/T lately. Just watch! They will say that we need to help the low income workers, the one's which they choose not to pay enough to afford housing- eventhough we gave them 16 blocks downtown free and clear to develop. Moores is a thief, he is no Jimmy Carter, and is looking to get more of a free ride.
Now, can anyone tell me where the Redevelopment Agency (City Council) annual reports are for 2003, 2004, 2005? Why are they not on the City Web Site? Why won't anyone in the Agency give them to me, even when I asked before City Council? If you think the pension debt is a problem, then where did all the money go that was supposed to go to the pension fund??? And the sewer/water fund? Has the City been paying back the Redevelopment Bonds (more than just interest)?
Okay, If anyone knows any answers please forward to Daniel at:
http://www.danielbeeman.com or info@FreedomPlease.org
Force out of working families to give the properties over to Condo Developers
Mr. Flannery, (Editor Munoz, Pls see below, P-3) I got to your site via SD Coastal Alliance. Your totally right about what Kehoe, and buddies didduring the DT Ball Park planning. Bersin,SD UnifedSchool Dist., and his father inlaw, have a lot of interest in land/property development, (ONE MAINREASON HE IS GOING TO THE STATE HOUSE!) as are most ofthe rest of the list to gain either more wealth orpower. Recently the Moores & Burnham Real Estate Institute"Burnham Real Estate and John Moores Give $5 MillionEndowment To University of San Diego Real EstateInstitute Monday, June 14,"-USD Web Page, held a EAH-Employer Assisted Housing, seminar ($85 a head) todiscuss and "educate" on how employers can help to gethousing for their workers. Rather than pay a wage that will pay a worker enough for housing, they are lookingto get tax credits, and gov'tl assistance to housetheir under paid workers. Remember Burnham andJMI (john Moores Investments) is the largest player inthe development (16 FREE BLOCKS of land, viaredevelopment) of the DT Ballpark. Now, that theydon't want to provide workers with a "livable" incomethey are looking to see what they can do to get thegov't (YES ME & YOU) to pay for housing due to the strong negitive reaction the Redevelopment Agency CCDC has gotten over DT affordable housing by housingadovocates. So Johnny & friends first stole the property, now they want us to pay for the housing tobe developed on it. "It's the responsible thing todo!"-have gov't help develop affordable housing. Watchout San Diego! Also, watch out for Inzunza 'N Company (Family &friends) as they are looking to redevelop, much via Eminent Domain, the So. SD, Nat'l City and Chula Vistanear coast inland. They will force out longtime working families to give the properties over to Condo developer friends and associates. They can't touch the coast (West of hwy 5) due to Coastal Comm.restrictions. But you only need to build over 3stories to have ocean views, lower levels(non-view)will be retail and "affordable" housing. Can you say Cha-Ching!? See 5/13/05 addition of La PrensaSD
The District Attorney needs to prosecute those higher in the food chain
May 20, 2005, If there was a quid pro quo pursuant to which members of the City's pension board voted to underfund the pension system in return for their personal pension benefits being increased by the City, then it would seem that only one set of actors in such a conspiracy has so far been charged by the District Attorney.
Charging only one set of participants is like going after prostitutes without also arresting their pimps or their johns.
Or, it's like arresting drug users, but never drug dealers.If that is what the District Attorney is doing, her prosecutions may well send the signal that the nothing has actually changed in San Diego and thereby have the perverse effect of encouraging, rather than discouraging, civic corruption.
Is the City of San Diego Bankrupt?
May 6,One would have thought that Dick Murphy would have used his retirement to address at least one issue with absolute candor, namely, the issue of pension funding. Obviously, he hasn't. By contrast, Mike Aguirre has.
The fundamental problem with actuarial projections is well documents in classic books such as How To Lie With Statistics or other similar books such as Damned Lies and Statistics: Untangling Numbers from the Media, Politicians, and Activists.As they say in the computer world, "Garbage In, Garbage Out."I don't mean to say that I know that the pension plan actuary has given us garbage statistics. Rather, the question is more fundamental. Is the City of San Diego bankrupt in that it is unable to meet current legal obligations?
That is, what is the minimum payment that the City must make in FY06 in order to meet its legal obligation to the pension system?The answer to that question requires a careful examination of the
assumptions on which the City Manager's pension funding proposal is based.
If these assumptions lead to an actuarial funding requirement that as a
matter of law understates the actual minimum funding requirement, then the funding must be increased. If the legally required funding exceeds the City's financial capacity, then the City may be bankrupt.What we still don't know and would expect to soon hear from the City Attorney is whether or not any past conflicts of financial interest provide a proper legal basis to seek a determination from the courts that affected
pension commitments are void as a consequence of the conflicts of interest.Surely, the City Council will fully support the City Attorney in undertaking at least four issues in their logical order: (1) What are the City's legal obligations to fund the pension plan, given the possibility that some prior commitments are void due to conflicts of interest?; (2) What is the minimum funding required by law for FY06?; (3) Does the City have the revenue to meet the funding requirement, and if not is a declaration of bankruptcy required?Among our elected officials, only two to date are willing to ask these questions, Mike Aguirre and Donna Frye. It is time that every other elected official join them.
Pay the lady or leave the bed (04/26/05)
A titanic battle for the heart and soul of San Diego is starting to unfold. It is a microcosm of what is going on all across America.Corporate San Diego is in danger of losing control to a populist takeover of City Hall by surf chic Donna Frye and avenging angel Mike Aguirre. A shadow developer-based government has been running San Diego from the bar in the University Club ever since Susan Golding was sworn in as Mayor on December 7, 1992 promising to "make San Diego the most business-friendly city in America". Maybe she overdid it a little.Last week John Kern called the Lincoln Club fat cats together for tête-à-tête over lunch at the University Club and told them that Murphy needed their help. He had taken legal risks for them and now it was time to take care of their own. He needed money, lots of it, to fight off Aguirre and Frye. Either pony up or get Frye as their strong Mayor!The strong mayor system was supposed to make it simpler for developers to know who to pay in the “pay-to-play” game, not to be used by a surf chic against them.By Sunday night John Moores had not called. Why should he? He already got what he wanted. So Murphy, his wife, Bob Ottlie and John Kern watched the sun go down from Murphy's Del Cerro patio and said "Right. If they want Donna Frye, then they shall have her". First thing in the morning they pulled the plug. Classic Kern.Now what do Moores et al do? That's their problem, says Murphy. Votes may be bought or rented, but you still must pay up. This shower wanted it all for nothing! Is this what a corrupt City Council looks like?-—Pat Flannery
Mayor Murphy resigned to day but questions still remain? What is Murphy's relationship with Shannon Development?
We know that Shannon Development is involved in Limerick University's 116 acre development project. We know that Murphy appointed Fred Pierce to the position of Chairman of the San Diego Pension Fund while he was (and still is) the developer of SDSU's Paseo Project. These two development projects are remarkably similar.
We know that Mayor Murphy appointed Tim Hushen (who had no prior connections with Ireland) as President of the San Diego-Shannon Partnership Inc. while he was (and still is) a senior official of the SDSU Foundation. We know that Mr. Hushen makes frequent trips to Shannon Development and Limerick University as a representative of Murphy's San Diego-Shannon Partnership Inc. (now a "sister city").Murphy has an MBA from Harvard, is an ex-banker, and has doggedly pursued this relationship with Shannon Development under the guise of a "sister city". Karl Mellon, Shannon Development's West Coast representative, is also a principle in a Las Vegas venture capitalist firm while still working for Shannon Development.We still need answers to so many, many questions. —Pat Flannery
For more: http://www.patflannery.com/SanDiegoToday.htm
faith in city officials, except Aguirre
government is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission and
the FBI for fraudulent financial practices. Bond-rating services rate San
Diego credit way down. The City Council and the pension board are obstructing
the KPMG financial audit. The City Council, the mayor, the pension board and some
city staffers may have broken the law.
I have lost faith in our mayor and
council. I will support a recall of this city's elected officials. City Attorney
Michael Aguirre is one of the few who are seeking a solution to the city's financial
and legal problems.
PETE NELSON, San
Diego, Union Tribune, Letters to the editor, February 28, 2005
to UT Article 2/15/05 regarding PC Appointments
15 article entitled 2 Planning Commission Nominees OK'd by Council
stated that Murphy said he has sought out committee members in the past,
but they declined. He said Chase was in the 6th
District until redistricting happened. 'It is
a constant struggle to put together what we need to do to have the best and brightest
people in these positions,' he said.
For the record, there are 743 current
members of the 42 recognized community planning committees in San Diego, and there
are probably a larger number of former members. It is hard to believe that none
are qualified, particularly since many of these community volunteers are also
professional planners, architects, engineers, and lawyers with extensive experience
in planning and land use. For the Mayor to suggest that they are not among the best and brightest is a sad commentary on politicizing appointments
in San Diego. I am aware of only one former member
who was even asked and declined. It must also
be noted that the names of at least 4 current or former members of the community
planning groups were provided to the Mayor, and he chose to ignore them.
to the Mayor's statement, the redistricting occurred in September 2001; Carolyn
Chase, who was appointed in 2002, resided in District 2. District 6 has not had
representation on the Planning Commission for 13 years.
is disconcerting that the Mayor and Council (with the exception of Donna Frye)
continue to ignore Charter Section 42, which states the following: "The appointing
authority in selecting appointees to commissions, boards, committees or panels
shall take into consideration sex, race and geographical area so the membership
of such commissions, boards, committees or panels shall reflect the entire community."
neither the Mayor's memo nor the Council docket provided the necessary information
that would enable the Council to consider whether or not their action would comply
with the Charter. In this tumultuous period in which open government is supposedly
being stressed, it should not be up to the public to ferret out this information.
article stated that Madaffer urged Murphy
to nominate a member of the Community Planners Committee to the commission for
the next vacancy. The key word is vacancy. For the next three
years current members of the Planning Commission will be eligible for reappointment,
and I have no doubt they will be reappointed. Pending unforeseen circumstances,
the next vacancy will not occur until January 2008.
With future appointments, let's ask for geographical distribution and planning group experience, and also
ask for public sector planning experience.
The preponderance of private RE
industry people is the biggest problem, in my
Of course, if the mayor were intent
on getting a pro-development zealot on the PC, he could manage to do this within
any definition of diversity and balance. So the biggest obstacle is that Mayor
doesn't see the problem with having 6 of 7 commissioners working in private
real estate development and design firms.
Nor did he see a problem with having
Jack McGrory, the developer, lead the Affordable Housing Task Force.
New Year! The Chinese calendar says 2005 is the year
of the rooster. The sign of the rooster indicates a person who is hard-working
and definite about his decisions. Roosters are not afraid to speak their minds
and can therefore sometimes come across as boastful.
Gee, that kind of describes our city attorney, Mike Aguirre. Go, Mike!
people of San Diego should be dancing with glee. It's time for a lively celebration
in our city. Our city attorney is following the money trail. It's about time we
uncover the villains and find out the truth.
GREENE, San Diego, Union
Tribune Letters to Editor
14th, 15th, 19th and 26th amendments to the Constitution clearly state that no
State shall make or enforce any law which abridges the privileges of a citizen
of the United States.
Marbury vrs Madison in the supreme court
case of 1803 essentially voids any references to bubbles in our state law or our
Unfortunately we have too many judges who haven't done
article regarding the Woocher election contest in The San Diego Union-Tribune
can be found below.
reporting is excellent. When I saw the headlines, however,
(most likely written by an editor, so not the reporter) I was reminded of past
efforts by the editors of the UT to create a misleading context for ballpark lawsuits.
Consider the headlines below. The assertion is Legal challenge
is 5th filed. How does the editor get to five when only two contests have
been filed under the exclusive and mandatory post-election rules permitting elections
to be contested in California? The obvious answer is that three lawsuits were
filed under other rules, one a federal civil rights lawsuit claiming (believe
it or not) that San Diego Republicans have a federal constitutional right to an
election for San Diegos mayor free of a write-in candidate if that candidate
is a registered Democrat. The other two lawsuits were dismissed on the basis that
they sought pre-election remedies in a post-election lawsuit.So, you might
ask, whats the problem since there have in fact been five lawsuits?
The answer is, first, that there are really only two that are relevant.
Second, I expect to soon see the numbers rise dramatically as the editors of
the UT start adding in each appeal and even each hearing so that they can get
the numbers higher and higher. Why do I expect that? Well, thats just what
they did with the lawsuits regarding the Padres -- although, as far as I can
tell they never added to the total they used the criminal action filed against
former Councilwoman Stallings. Of course, thats their right since its
their newspaper.The bottom line? Editors of the UT have signaled in their editorial
yesterday (Woochers World) that they intend to vilify efforts
to bring the question of the certification of the 5,547 Frye votes without bubbles
before the courts. At this point all Im saying, therefore, is fasten
your seatbelts and UT Reader Beware.
the SANDAG report, Solving the Region's Housing Crisis:
found many sections of this report to be incorrect and unfounded. The
SANDAG PowerPoint presentation (fall 2000) that you and Rebecca Davis prepared
is hindered by the same problems. As a brief commentary:
1. "Crisis" implies an acute situation or crucial phase, meaning temporary
in nature. With the US population increasing by 3 million people per year (70%
from foreign immigration), and American's preference for living in coastal
areas, is it realistic to imply that there is a "crisis" or that SANDAG
or other local officials have a "solution" to high housing prices in
2. The prominent inclusion of "housing shortage"
is unfortunate. You may be aware that there is no generally accepted method
for measuring a "housing shortage", and that some researchers calculate
figures that are 5 or 10 times larger or smaller than others. John Landis reported
that our region generated a housing surplus from 1990 to 1997, while other researchers
claimed a shortage.
Logically, this should lead us to question whether the
concept is meaningful and whether there is a housing shortage at all. Is it really
supportable to claim, as in your slide presentation, that the current housing
crisis can be largely attributed to a housing shortage?
SANDAG staff ever consider that the recent increases in San Diego housing prices
were related to:
a. Catchup from the region's lagging price appreciation
during the 1990's.
b. The burgeoning U.S. population.
c. The business
fees, impact fees and utility costs that are lower than other regions, and work
as a subsidy that fuels industrial growth.
d. Low mortgage rates.
The SANDAG presentation reports a vacancy rate of 1.6%. Yet the 2000 Census reported
4.4%. Does SANDAG staff have an informal policy of using figures that better
support the "shortage" notion?
5. "How did we get into
this situation" asks the slide. The answer: NIMBY's, government regulation,
development fees, defect litigation, etc. Geez, Susan, why not just allow the
BIA to prepare the presentation! Didn't you personally prepare a report in 2000
that showed combined fees from all agencies accounted for a maximum of 6% of the
increase in housing prices for one period? (assuming that all of the fees were
passed on to buyers, which is debatable) Why are you repeating the myth that increased
fees are one of the key factors that have pushed up prices?
6. The presentation
states that most of the region's remaining land is planned for single family homes.
Yet it fails to mention that 50% of the planned housing in the region is multifamily,
compared to the current 35% of housing stock. Isn't it misleading to focus on "remaining land" figures while downplaying the huge shift toward multifamily
housing already contained in the region's general plans?
am dismayed that SANDAG staff seems to be more concerned with developing a politcally
acceptable party line and sticking with it than in becoming a source for factual
information and erudite analysis. Saying something over and over doesn't make
it right. If this situation continues, it will energize a movement to disband
SANDAG and start over with another organization.
Tom Mullaney, Friends of San Diego-"Preserving the environment and quality
of life in the San Diego region"
Tel: 619-795-1753 email: email@example.com
arrogance of the U-T editorial board knows no bounds
11/5/04 editorial). It's bad enough that for the past year or so they have
not allowed a single dissenting POV on their Op-Ed pages with respect to city
schools and its current administration.
It's bad enough that they have zero journalistic credibility when it comes to
Superintendent Bersin and his "lame duck" rubber stamp majority on the
current school board. It's even worse that they still don't understand that
Mr. Bersin's "Blueprint" was not about real educational reform, but
about going backwards--to
the great detriment of 136,000 city school children (remember how SDCS enrollment
used to be 144,000 back when Mr. Bersin was hired in 1998). But the straw that
breaks the camel's back--for me--is that even though the U-T's "boy"
and his destructive polices were so soundly defeated at the polls this past Tuesday,
the U-T editorial board is already trying to dictate what the "new" city school board should or should not do.
I guess it's hard to break old habits. What wanton hubris.
board--have you no shame?
MacCarthy,Voters For Truth in Education
responds on 'unsubstantiated attacks, Letters
to the editor, Union Tribune, Oct. 8, 2004
recently criticized me for "unsubstantiated attacks" on my opponent,
Councilman Scott Peters ("Re-elect Peters," Oct. 2). Only in politics
would revealing a politician's voting record be considered an "attack."
As far as "unsubstantiated" goes, please tell me which of the following
facts are not true:
That Peters, despite warnings from pension trustee Diann
Shipione, knowingly voted to underfund the Pension system, which is facing a $1.5
billion shortfall. (Source: Union-Tribune; Nov. 18, 2002, City Council minutes.)
That Peters voted to increase pool, park and recreation and other "user
fees" to help make up pension deficit. (Source: Union-Tribune Editorial, "Bankruptcy Blues," April 10, 2004; City Council minutes.)
Peters has taken more than $200,000 of development industry, and lobbyists contributions,
when I have refused to take any. (Source: San Diego City Clerk, financial
That Peters received the lowest pro-conservation voting
score (31 percent) as compiled by Vote the Coast/State Sierra Club/Surf Riders/
League of Coastal Protection. (Source: Vote the Coast.)
That Peters voted
for every development project to come before him. (Source: City Council minutes.)
That while Scott Peters claims to have reduced toxic runoff in our beaches
and bays, he actually voted to cut beach pollution monitoring and testing (Source:
FY 2004 Budget, page 227.)
That Peters council office budget has increased
over $300,000 since 2001, $545,166 to $885,000 (Source: Budget chart of council
That Peters neglected to report for three years his attendance
at an $808 dinner with alcohol paid for by the taxpayers. (Source: Union-Tribune,
July, 20, 2004; Scott Peters' amended financial documents filed with city Ethics
That Peters voted to give himself a $10,000 pay raise after
only 18 months in office. (Source: Union-Tribune, April 10, 2002; City Council
Dec. 7 was an appropriate day for new City Attorney Mike Aguirre's Opinion piece, "Much to do as the people's attorney." On this day in 1941, the United States military squared off against our Asian adversaries, with most of the fleet destroyed and our personnel not up to srength. Now Aguirre has declared war on the adversaries of the citizens of San Diego.
This war, however, is being waged against corruption, conspiracy, ineptness, disregard of the City Charter, misuse of pension and health funds, closed-door meetings, and the just plain lack of regard for the people's property.
It was interesting to read the body language of certain officials as Aguirre presented his inauguration speech Dec. 6 at Golden Hall; then the bomb was dropped by the audience when it gave Aguirre a resounding standing ovation. That acclamation signaled to our enemy that the San Diego "army" is giving its commander in chief the license to commence, wage and win this war.
Gen. Aguirre and his staff will do just that, but it is going to take time.
PETER J. DIRENZA , SD, Union Tribune Letters to Editor, 12/10,/04
to set the record straight regarding Scott Peters' statements at the recent District
Scott Peters' statements are not true regarding the
development he refers to in my community of Torrey Hills. This development
simply was not approved in 1997 as he maintains and as readers of the Carmel Valley
News will remember from numerous articles. This has been Peters' attempt at an
after-created-defense to cover up the true story. As a matter of fact, that proposed
development was part of a community plan amendment to double traffic in a residential
neighborhood across from an elementary school and was on track to be decided by
City Council while Peters was on Council. Because we are primarily a family neighborhood
with young children, there was tremendous opposition to this traffic-increasing
project. But before it was ever heard by Council, Peters met with the developers
of the project and told them he approved of their development plans to double
traffic- even though the project violated the terms of our community plan.
do I know this? Peters told me personally of this meeting at the same time
he indicated he would not honor the traffic caps provided for in our community
plan. This project was then dropped from its track to Council and approved
in a subterranean deal that bypassed any public scrutiny.
This led to an
investigation and report by the San Diego County Grand Jury and lawsuits against
the City by both a local community group and the Del Mar Union School District.
The Grand Jury concluded in its report that the City did not follow proper development
procedures with regard to this project and the community group and the School
District both won their lawsuits. The Del Mar Union School District's case
was won, in part, because of evidence in the record that showed that Scott
Peters' office interceded on behalf of the developers contrary to the provisions
of the California Environmental Quality Act.
It is my experience from
working with various community groups throughout District One that Scott Peters
does not deal in good faith with his constituents when it comes to development
issues. Community volunteers who have worked closely with him on neighborhood
issues have learned the hard way that they cannot trust Scott Peters to keep his
word. —Kathryn Burton
Peters is directly responsible for what is now perceived as open season on the
know only too well that Scott Peters is no environmentalist and has the worst
environmental voting record on the Coastal Commission (31%) http://www.votethecoast.org/VTC_Scorecard.htm.
Don't be fooled by those who try to cover up for Scott Peters.
La Jolla Resident
Spent, Traffic Gets Worse Under Proposition A
the relief? Future promises don't add up to congestion relief Proposition A asks
voters to mandate consumers to pay another half-cent in sales tax for
a list of projects that proponents claim provide "fast relief" and "congestion
Unfortunately, the plans themselves that Prop A would implement
show that - even after investing billions:
- Average work trip travel time
- goes up
- Congested peak travel miles - goes up
- Congested non-peak travel
miles - goes up
- Average work trip travel speed - goes down for most trips
Homes within a half-mile of transit stops: no increase = no smart growth
Table 2.2, page 22 in Regional Transportation Plan 2030)
So much for future
promises of congestion relief! This alone should be enough for voters to see that
this Prop A is the wrong way to go and to demand a better performing plan before
they fund it. Frankly, when offered the Prop A choice to sit in traffic with their
money or sit in traffic without their money, most everyone would keep their money
and vote No on Prop A.
We need a better performing plan that really addresses
congestion and holds the system accountable for performance. Their project lists
have not and do not add up to the performance or fair funding
support the region's growth. Prop A continues to subsidize developments while
asking consumers to pay more. We can create a better performing plan. See more
of the details at www.askyourself.org.
Proposition A is opposed by San Diego
Council member Donna Frye, San Diego Supervisor Pam Slater-Price and a coalition
of independent groups including the San Diego Sierra Club, Citizen's Coordinate
for Century 3, and Surfrider Foundation.—Carolyn Chase
the San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau (SDCVB) existing to entice visitors
to our City or to line the pockets and make life easy and rich for the employees
of the SDCVB?
When I read the results of the SDCVB
audit, initiated by Councilmember Donna Frye this date, in the Union Tribune,
I was absolutely shocked.
you had not the opportunity to read this very enlightening article, please let
Fifteen top executives received a total of $94,780 in car allowances
during 18 months in 2002 and 2003. That included $4,320 in parking allowances
for two executives who did not incur any parking expenses.
All 86 employees
in fiscal 2003 received bonuses from $81,000 for President Reint Reinders to $9,519
each for vice
presidents to$417 each for lower level staffers.
spent nearly $19,000 in fiscal 2003 and 2004 for tickets to the SuperBowl, Holiday
Bowl and 16 Chargers games. Clients received most of the tickets, but 25 percent
to 50 percent for some events went to staff.
Bureau employees were reimbursed
$2,715 for 20 meals that were not attended by any clients...ConVis has depended
on the City (your tax funds) for 86 percent of its budget. This fiscal year, the
City is giving the bureau $9.8 million.
Folks, your city is just about to go
into bank-ruptcy because of the irresponsible fiduciary control of the tax funds
that you worked so hard to earn and were not able to save for future needs.
If $9.8 million is only 86 percent of the bureau's budget, we can only surmise
how much of the 14 percent of the budget finds its way into the golden pockets
of the President and his group of merry men.
It is my opinion that regardless
of which percentage the money was taken from, it was not the President's money
to disburse in such frivolous manner. In my opinion, the actions committed here
have been out and out embezzelment.
The District Attorney's office should look
into this matter poste-haste and not give we citizens phony excuses for not taking
this matter to a criminal grand jury.
We citizens can thank the good Lord we
have someone like Donna Frye on the Council who is not afraid to expose corruption
in the city.
Folks, something must be done to stop the blatant corruption
in this city. Raise hell. Contact the District Attorney,
contact the State Attorney, use your vote. insist that the officials involved
be fired, at the least.
UNLESS YOU WANT TO KEEP PAYING THROUGH THE NOSE FOR THESE HIGH FLYING POLITICIANS,
DEVELOPERS, APPOINTEES, ET AL. JUST IGNORE THESE JERKS HAVING WONDERFUL LIFE STYLES,
BIG HOUSES, BIG CARS AND WHATEVER ELSE THEY ENJOY WITH YOUR, YES--YOUR MONEY.
Tribune, Letters to the editor, August
19, 2004 (Some days the letters make the UT worth Reading)
members of the committee Citizens Against One Man Rule
with the Union-Tribune's comment that a city manager form of government "is
better suited to a municipality the size of tiny Del Mar."
Antonio and Dallas all have city manager governments, and they are listed in the
top 10 most populated cities in the United States.
In fact, Phoenix has a
bigger population than San Diego. It might benefit San Diego to study Phoenix,
since it was rated the best managed city in the country in a survey by Governing
Magazine and Syracuse University.
The editorial also states that a mayor "can
be removed by voters for poor performance." It does not say how this removal
would take place, but the only way to remove an elected official is by recall.
The city clerk confirms that no mayor of San Diego has ever been recalled. The
rules on recall are quite restrictive. Currently, it takes more than 84,000 voter
signatures, which must be collected in 39 days. We conclude that recall does not
make a mayor accountable.
On the other hand, the city manager is truly accountable
to the City Council, since a majority of the council can fire him or her at any
a way to provide cheaper housing
to the Aug. 5 article "Affordable-housing backers chide city," "city
officials noted that over the last two years more than 5,000 affordable housing
units are or will be built." I ask where, available to whom and at what cost
per square foot? How do we sign up?
We need a realistic housing committee
that looks at keeping low-cost available marketplace units while moving to get
more affordable units into that marketplace. Redevelopment law was written to
guarantee more affordable housing, but the redevelopment agencies usually have
unit development in the moderate to high-moderate range of affordable housing.
Low-low income housing is what is really needed in San Diego.
is "private/ public" housing co-ops. Apartment residents could get federally
mandated low interest loans to purchase and/or rehabilitate the complexes they
reside in. Landholders could get property tax and water/sewer/trash fee reductions
for selling the apartment complexes to co-ops at below market prices.
gain with owner-occupied units rather than "absentee" owner properties.
The co-op (nonprofit) gets any real estate gain, while the unit owner gets affordable
housing that has a dependable per month payment rate.
M. BEEMAN , North Park
fireworks 'disturbing the peace'
I really appreciated the Aug. 12 letter,
"Nightly fireworks disturb animals." My feelings exactly.
night during summer the peace is greatly disturbed by what sounds like the beginning
of World War III, and I shudder at what it must be doing to all the animals at
SeaWorld. Has anyone had the nerve to check their blood pressure when this huge
disturbance breaks out in their world every night?
Aren't there laws against
disturbing the peace? For the handful of people enjoying those fireworks at SeaWorld,
how much greater is the suffering of thousands having to listen to this every
THOMPSON , La Jolla
vu, we are repeating the history of Goldings plea for a stronger Mayoral
the Golding era, the abuses in City Government are running rampant, corruption
is at the forefront, and after leading us down this path the Mayor wants more
Let us look at the power Mayor Murphy now has, and where he has taken
us. The Mayors appointments start with an Ethics Commission that has done
more to protect government violators than prosecute them, a Charger Task Force
full of vested interest that wasted time and funds, a pension fund board that
has taken the city into debt, and the list goes on and on.
The public taxpayer
seems to be the loser. Through Mayor Murphys support of heavy-handed redevelopment,
threat of eminent domain, government funded promotional agencies that push vested
interest public/private projects in the name of tourism, villages and economics.
Along with this comes the Mayors behind closed door meetings. Followed
by guaranteed YES votes on all the done deals, the land
giveaways, ballparks, NTC, SeaWorld and endless controversial items.
Mayor is fighting against opening-up the overused closed-door sessions, after
two of the cities attorneys, a strong public interest lawyer candidate running
for City Attorney, and two of the Councilmembers have said the process needs to
be opened-up to the public.
If instead, we had a Mayor in office that was fiscally
responsible and public rights minded, a strong mayoral form of government might
seem appropriate. Unfortunately, Murphy continuously demonstrates he is in the
pockets of big money and disdains public process.
Under Murphy, a strong mayoral
form of government could perpetuate San Diego further towards a meltdown of our
public finances and rights.
Blavatt, March 29, 2004
you remember the ballot question in 1998 for the Padres' stadium?
were asked to approve funding for a new stadium for the Padres on the understanding
the stadium project would pay for itself, that is, on the understanding that the
Citys participation requires no new taxes... .
voices in the community rang the tocsin, making their best efforts to warn our
City and its citizens of the financial disaster that was sure to follow from the
most expensive corporate welfare project in our Citys history.
to 2004. As the new Padres stadium is about to open, the painful truth finally
becomes the painful reality of fiscal crisis for our community.
after lawsuit, attempts were made by brave citizens to give reality to these promises.
Contrary to the City and the Padres claims and the personal vilification
over the years, there were many important victories. For example, environmental
laws were enforced; the Citys obligation was capped at $225 million rather
than the $299 million approved by the City Council in 2000; and corrupt conflicts of
interest were exposed.
But, the financial catastrophe inherent in the City's
agreements with the Padres could not be avoided. It turned out that the agreements
with the Padres drafted by the City Attorney and approved by our elected officials
simply did not contain, or so the courts held, the protections promised taxpayers.
Coupled with those poorly drafted agreements was the determination
of elected official after elected official to go forward either in defiance or
denial of the financial consequences to our community.
In case you have
forgotten, heres the question the voters were asked in 1998.
C AUTHORIZING REDEVELOPMENT AND A BALLPARK
Shall an ordinance be adopted
authorizing the City of San Diego to enter into agreements to redevelop an area
of downtown, and construct a multiple use ballpark, provided that: 1) the City's
participation requires no new taxes, is capped, and also limited to redevelopment
funds and an amount equivalent to certain hotel tax revenue; and 2) the San Diego
Padres guarantee substantial private contributions, pay all ballpark construction
cost overruns, and play in San Diego until 2024?
Again, fast forwarding
to 2004, we are finally beginning to learn of the consequences that inevitably
follow when the wool gets pulled over the eyes of too many voters.
truth always was the same. There was no way the City could take on this horrendously
expensive project either new taxes or drastic cuts in the City's existing obligations
Well, we have all seen the consequences of the program
cuts over the years. Just drive around San Diego and consider the truly awful
state of our roads. Or, check out operating hours at community libraries. Or,
take a look at the condition of the sea wall in Mission Beach. The list goes on
But those examples are the visible ones. Less visible, until
now, were the decisions to under-fund the City's pension obligations -- decisions
driven by the desire of elected officials (other than Donna Frye) to hide the
true cost of public funding John Moores' dream of a new stadium -- corporate
welfare at its most extreme.
now are beginning to learn that the costs of this terrible mistake by
our community and our elected officials is as serious as it is mind boggling.
And, it makes the City's corporate welfare to the Chargers pale
So, thank you John Moores.
District 1, ill served by Peters, UT
the election approaches, voters should be aware that Torrey Hills and Carmel Valley
are not the only areas furious at Scott Peters for failing to protect neighborhoods
and instead acting on behalf of special interests and developers who have contributed
to his campaigns.
In the La Jolla Shores area, we saw a special-interest group
gain exclusive negotiation rights to publicly owned, designated open space while
Peters was asleep at the wheel. Instead of a neighborhood park adjoining a residential
neighborhood, residents may face a 12,000 square foot institutional building serving
hundreds of UCSD students with serious parking, safety, traffic and further encroachment
At the other end of the same residential street, the YMCA plans to
expand into a huge regional facility, with serious impacts but without a full
Both of these projects will irrevocably alter the residential
character of this neighborhood. The citizens already have filed a lawsuit against
the city concerning Site 653. Y opponents may follow suit. These outsized projects
would never have passed City Council if Peters had done the job he said he would
when he ran for office.
Instead, he has collected hundreds of thousands in
developer and special interest contributions and left our neighborhoods at the
mercy of overdevelopment. No environmental review, inadequate traffic studies,
no meaningful public review - that is what Scott Peters stands for. We should
not stand for him.
Vadis, Scott Peters: A swing to the right for the La Jolla
councilman" by John R. Lamb ["Spin Cycle," Dec. 24]. Cty
wanted to say how much I enjoyed John Lamb's piece on the broken promises and
misrepresentations that have characterized Scott Peters' first term as the council
member for District 1. I hope you will allow me space to expand on his piece and
shed some light on why San Diego still elects developers' pawns to the City Council.
am sitting here on a wet Christmas day reading Under the Perfect Sun by Mike Davis,
Kelly Mayhew and Jim Miller, an alternative
history of San Diego politics.
I am struck by a comment on Page 250 about the "new clout" of labor,
"a product of the energetic new
leadership of Jerry Butkiewicz and its
relationship to the election of Michael Zucchet. And I think to myself that maybe,
just maybe, the volunteers on Zucchet's campaign played a tiny role as well in
electing him as the first Democrat ever to District 2.
I am also thinking
what Davis and his co-authors would write about the backbone of Butkiewicz and
his organization after their decision to endorse Scott Peters in District 1 even
after his letter to the Lincoln Club seeking their endorsement-replete with anti-labor
and pro-developer sentiments. It was not as if another well-qualified candidate,
Kathryn Burton, a community activist, environmentalist and champion of working
people, didn't offer a real alternative.
Those of us who seek real political
change in San Diego have learnedmuch about the self-serving motives of union leadership
as a result of this episode. We will work for change without the help of those
whose political inaction amounts to cowardice-even as they ask us to support
the striking grocery workers.Organizations that support the incumbent merely because
he is the incumbent-regardless of his failure to fulfill campaign promises, listen
to his constituents while voting for special interests whose campaign contributions
he values-will become increasingly irrelevant as the public grows weary of
politics as usual in San Diego.—Ian Trowbridge, Mission Hills
Recent Port District, County and City
abuses are just the tip of the Iceberg. Katz & Associates has been
long been involved with our (2nd largest in the state) School District (with its
valuable Real Estate Assets) as well as these divisions of our local Government.
The massive mismanagement of public funds and real estate here deserves real investigation
focusing on real white collar crime in San Diego. We don't need to go to Las Vegas
to find it, though I'm sure many organizations that benefit from such abuses are
founded there. Immediate financial gain appears the only priority in a City that
is quickly losing its attractiveness and ability to service both its industries
(tourist, hi-tech & military) with its basic needs and its astronomically-growing
public debt. We've tried with little success, think of it this way, you either
get involved now or face the future with your hands tied behind your back!
The process of redevelopment seems to be backward.
Rather than being need driven
it appears to be revenue from redevelopment driven. We seem obsessed to
tear something down that is perfectly functional and generates money at an acceptable
traffic impact level like the Sports Arena only to replace it with something that
makes money for the developer and hopefully makes money for the city coffers (after
all the collateral infrastructure is figured in.).
city holds meetings with the public to comply with protocal. But typically the
citizen input is largely ignored in the final analysis. NTC/Seaworld are
prime examples. Sorry if we are cynical but we have to live with the aftermath
while city employees move on to something else.
Granted there are empty
storefronts and there will probably be more in the current economic climate. Recession
should not be interpreted as blight. The area that needs attention is that adjacent
to the Black Angus. I could see three story up to 30' high moderate income apartment
buildings going in there.
From my experience in real estate two bedroom
apartments are the most functional. They can be used by room mates, young married
couples and older married couples. They cycle well though the occupant age market.
Transit must be the first consideration.
We dont need more cars we need alternate transportation. If today's developer
can't figure out how to work the transit out then he needs to be eliminated from
consideration. This is 2003 not 1950. Funny thing is the old developers built
the transit first to get the customers to their developments. Somehow greed has
taken precedence over common sense. Low/Moderate income people need ontime affordable
public transport from their residence to work.—by Jarvis Ross