In typical San Diego fashion, certain members of City Council failed us and we are again stuck with three problems with no foreseeable solution in sight.
Those members failed to let the voters make a decision on 3 very important topics, being Homelessness, Infrastructure, and the Phase 3 Convention Center Expansion. The biggest question is if the city will now give additional money to the Firth Avenue Landing and the Robert Green Company to hold the land until the vote can happen. But my guess is with the current opposition, we will repeat previous events and have to start from scratch on a new plan. Therefor I question Councilmembers Barbara Bry, David Alvarez, Georgette Gómez, and Myrtle Cole’s real motive to keep it off the ballot besides "procedure", when they've had months to review the Citizens Initiative. Note the mayors measure and the initiative were pretty much identical. That being said... Inaction is not a good policy! We can't just keep kicking the can down the road! When you have homeless groups and other community leaders like Father Joes, Veterans Village and other groups show up in support of the measure, it's a good thing! Plus this measure had bipartisan support by the coalition built by Yes4SD. You had Scott Peters being very supportive of the initiative. You also had union support from the SD & Imperial Valley Labor Council. You also had Republican support in City Council and other sources in the county.
Councilmember Alverez was clearly annoyed over the difficulties getting his homeless measure through City Council and made comments during the meeting. I think the old saying goes don't look a gift horse in the mouth. The measure today would have provided funding to homeless services. It doesn’t seem logical to block the measure from going to the voters. And don't get me wrong, David is a good guy. I interviewed him and others during the Mayor’s State of The City Address.
I think everyone can agree we need to solve these issues, but it seems like finding a solution everyone likes is an issue. But I feel like this is become a big ego trip for some in City Council. They looked pretty proud of themselves that they stood up to the Coalition and the Mayor's Office. That begs the question to those council members. How do you expect to get 3 measures passed instead of one? The problem is that San Diegans in general don't vote yes on anything that raises taxes. If they do it's by a slim margin. Great example being getting Petco Park built. That measure barely passed, but look at downtown today.
Honestly, I lean to the right on most things, but I do understand the need to upgrade our infrastructure and provide essential services. I just don't get why people wouldn't want to take a step in solving 3 problems at once. The advantage to City Council passing this today would have been we would have had two shots to get it passed. One by the mayor's office and second via a special election or in 2020 for the Citizens Initiative. The way I see it, Mayor Faulconer was trying to save the taxpayers here by saving the deal with the 5th Avenue Landing, Comic-Con, and other conventions that are running out of room and patience. But of course, the city has to shoot itself in the foot again and nothing get's done as the status quo. Way to go San Diego... following in the steps of the State with over-regulation and over politicizing issues. This is literally why we are in the current housing mess too.
I applaud Mayor Faulconer, Mark Kersey, Lorie Zapf, Scott Sherman, and Chris Cate for being the leaders we need to stop inaction in local politics with supporting this measure. That includes Rep. Scott Peters and others who have been supportive in getting this measure to the voters. On this flip side, I am disappointed with those who voted no today and continuing to delay needed projects and services. This is why we can't do anything big in San Diego. The Chargers left, now we have a major risk of Comic-Con leaving our city. I’m also disappointed in Cory Briggs for threatening to sue the city again today during the public comment window. Not helpful to this situation at all and that's part of the problem. But it’s to be expected from him on these types of issues. I just think back to the Anchorman quote....
To finalize my thoughts... we need action to solve these issues. The time for inaction is over. I really hope that we can all could come together and solve these problems. You may not get everything you want, but at least lay the foundation for progress on these issues.This measure, which I believe should have gone to the voters in November, should have passed City Council and the people should have been able to vote. But such is San Diego politics…