What We Learned This Week

What We Learned This Week

Photo by Sam Hodgson

Balboa Park

 

San Diego city schools officials have added a new rationale for voters to support a new tax hike on the ballot, Proposition Z.

It’s a construction bond that would add to property tax bills $60 for every $100,000 of assessed value of property you own in the district. Critics often point out that voters passed Proposition S in 2008, which ostensibly freed up billions for construction projects. Only a portion of that has been spent.

City schools officials say they are tapped out paying on old debt. If Proposition Z does not pass, they warn they’ll have to do controversial capital appreciation bonds, the politically toxic borrowings that became national news after our explanation of a troubling deal in Poway.

Kochs for Carl? Maybe But No Money Coming

For progressives, Charles and David Koch, who run Koch Industries, are the prime boogeymen.

The Kochs fund many conservative and libertarian causes and have become much better known in recent months. A recent ad in support of San Diego mayoral candidate Bob Filner, invoked the Kochs. It said DeMaio has “taken millions” from Koch Industries.

Lisa Halverstadt decided to look into that claim, and it was false.

What We Learned This Week

Ray Ellis Loves Talking Pensions: The District 1 City Council candidate can answer almost any question with “pensions.” As he works to distinguish himself from his rival, the incumbent Sherri Lightner, Ellis says his main focus will be on finances. We also took the time to explain the background behind his and Lightner’s favorite jabs at each other (and, in Lightner’s case, one about herself).

Convention Center May Need a Better Plan B: Both Ellis and Lightner said they’d support a vote of the people if the tax hike that will fund a new expansion to the Convention Center is deemed illegal without a vote of the people. The two mayoral candidates have said the same thing. But voters twice rejected a hotel room tax increase in 2004 and one of those times, it was because the threshold to pass it was two-thirds vote of the people. That’s thought of as extremely difficult to overcome. A judge will decide if avoiding the vote and still getting the tax hike is legal.

It’s Not Going to Be Easy to Put on a 2015 Celebration: In fact, there are five very big hurdles for the city and the event’s boosters to overcome.

Quick News Hits

• I was happy to participate in a special Midday Roundtable with several others reflecting on the life and career of Gloria Penner on KPBS.

• U-T San Diego reports that an attorney for the family of a woman who a U.S. Border Patrol agent shot and killed has filed a wrongful death claim with the Border Patrol. News has been coming out that the agent had been disciplined multiple times for misconduct before the incident.

• Turns out, posts Jim Miller made on Facebook led the Lincoln Club to revoke its endorsement of the candidate for judge. (U-T)

• A columnist at the LGBT Weekly has a compelling back story on why Mayor Jerry Sanders decided to support same-sex marriage rights.

Quote of the Week

“It’s never sexy to talk about the foundations and the water and the sewer. But you know, after 100 years, we have to talk about it.”

Ben Clay, a lead organizer of the huge 2015 celebration in Balboa Park.

I’m Scott Lewis, the CEO of the Voice of San Diego. You can contact me directly at scott.lewis@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0527 and follow me on Twitter (it’s a blast!): twitter.com/vosdscott.

 

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Scott Lewis

Scott Lewis

I'm Scott Lewis, the CEO of Voice of San Diego. Please contact me if you'd like at scott.lewis@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0527 and follow me on Twitter (it's a blast!): @vosdscott.

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