End Run, Touchdown!

Erica Holloway Erica Holloway Leave a Comment

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The quarterback gives the play in the huddle. Just after the snap, the defenders push to the center and the quarterback gets plowed from the side. The reason: the line decided to go with another play.

In case you’re wondering, the public is the quarterback in this end run on the tax cap increase for the Centre City Development Corp. By passing the cap increase through a state bill, proponents avoided the slower, publicly-involved vetting.

Bad governance.

Due process in government should occur in public with all the requisite scrutiny. The public is not a nuisance to be sidestepped.

Let’s put aside whether we all love football, the Chargers or were the team to leave, if it would cost taxpayers more in the end to attract another team back here. The fact remains the City Council approved a plan of action in a public meeting that seems abandoned for political expedience.

True – the bill was heard and approved “in public.” But we don’t live in Sacramento. The slick, last-minute dealings at the Capitol aren’t likely to catch anyone’s attention here, particularly when designed as such.

Perhaps all would have worked out: the cap would get raised, the stadium would get built by local workers and the Chargers would stay. But wouldn’t you like to know we’re all on the same page as a team?

*UPDATE: Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher sent out this letter on 10/20. Note the disparities between this letter and the San Diego Union-Tribune’s story by Michael Gardner.

Yesterday Governor Schwarzenegger signed legislation that we introduced to lift the cap on redevelopment money that can be invested in San Diego. Without action, these taxpayer dollars – our tax dollars – would have gone back to Sacramento and cost our city and region 110,000 jobs and and billions of dollars in infrastructure investment.

The legislation signed yesterday takes decisive action to keep billions of dollars of San Diego money here in San Diego where it will put people in our region back to work.

While the legislation was passed quickly during the budget process, it was the result of a bipartisan effort which included a rigorous floor debate and a required 2/3rds vote of approval from both the State Assembly and then the State Senate. With the cap lifted, the City Council can now begin the public process of analyzing how best to invest the funds on needed infrastructure. The Council has ultimate discretion over which projects are approved and will vote on each before any funds are spent.

What you should know about redevelopment in San Diego:

* Billions of dollars of San Diego taxpayer money will stay in San Diego for the next 30 years instead of returning to Sacramento.
* Redevelopment money will be invested in critical infrastructure that serves the needs of our city.
* Tens of thousands of San Diego jobs will be created – estimate is 110,000 jobs.
* Not a single dollar will be spent without a vote of the San Diego City Council, ensuring that the public will remain informed and have the chance to weigh in on each and every potential project.
* Redevelopment is expected to benefit the city General Fund. An independent analysis shows that the slight drop in property tax because of lifting the cap will be more than made up by the natural increase in sales and TOT taxes resulting from redevelopment.
* This effort will allow hundreds of projects to be considered including: street repair, parks, convention center expansion, affordable housing and many others.

There were some concerns raised regarding the public process moving forward. On Monday, we joined Mayor Sanders, Councilwoman Donna Frye, Councilman Kevin Faulconer, and County Supervisor Ron Roberts to announce an agreement on a process to move forward with redevelopment that includes:

1. a full economic analysis for the City of San Diego to determine any financial impacts to city before projects are considered.
2. a series of public forums and hearings to encourage the public to weigh in with thoughts and ideas on possible projects.
3. negotiations between the County of San Diego and City of San Diego to ensure that funds are properly allocated.

Please click here for a more in-depth fact sheet and analysis, and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.This is a good step forward for San Diego. Lifting the redevelopment cap will keep our local dollars here, ensure proper public input before any projects are approved, and, most importantly, get San Diegans back to work.

Best,

Nathan Fletcher

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