PREDICTION: SD City Council will repeal Wal-Mart superstore ban! But I’m getting ahead of my self.
Since I posted my press release on on SDRostra concerning the San Diego Wal-Mart referendum petition drive, I’ve done a bit more research on the referendum time line. Wal-Mart needs only 31,029 valid signatures. After the petitions are submitted (they MUST be submitted by 3 January), the city has 30 days to verify the sigs. After verification, it goes before our city council. The council then has an opportunity to rescind the ordinance (requiring a 5-3 vote).
Assuming the San Diego city council Gang of Four wants to absorb another beating at the polls (leaving the ordinance ban in place with a 4-4 deadlock vote), the election then must be scheduled within the next 11 months. I suspect Gov. Brown ET AL will put tax increases on the statewide ballot in the late spring or summer, so that could be the time of the election.
Latest cost figures indicate such a single issue full San Diego special election could cost the city over $3 million. If it is done by mail ballot, a rough estimate of savings would be in the 50% range — or less. And if part of a statewide election, the savings could be larger.
But consider the recent Salinas experience. As I understand it, the city politicos there did the unions’ bidding, banning a big box Wal-Mart. The company responded with a referendum petition drive (with LOTS of extra sigs), and the city council wisely rescinded their mistake — negating the need for a stinkin’ election.
My bet is that our SD city council will do the same. The city council labor union acolytes are still bleeding from the Prop D thumping, and they don’t relish another (even more) lop-sided defeat. Even the mayor would oppose them.
No one wants a $3 million election — including the labor unions who call the shots. Hence one or more of the Gang of Four will “see the light” and vote to rescind the ban.
That surrender will please me — sorta. My dark side is really looking forward to boxing their anti-big box ears in an election. It would be a massacre.