In case you didn’t read it, in my column yesterday, I reasserted my point that the Chargers will come up with a proposal for a new stadium. I said public officials should prepare the public to make a decision about how much voters are willing to spend on such a facility.

Rather than hide the cost or try to pretend like it doesn’t cost taxpayers anything, I thought we could change everything about these kind of decisions in the future and just clearly ask local residents whether they would pay a tax to support its construction. If they say no, than we don’t build it or the Chargers pay for all of it.

You’ll remember I’m making the assumption that the Chargers will go with the National City proposal for a bayfront stadium. I just think it makes the most sense of the ideas floating around now.

Land-use activist and occasional host of Café San Diego Don Wood checks in with some thoughts about that:

San Diego needs to stop helping developers put up yet more hotels, or new sports stadiums, on its bayfront and instead focus on building a working waterfront. The LA ports are completely full, meaning there are hundreds of freighters looking for a place to load and unload their cargoes. San Diego Bay is the best bay on the west coast, and could become as great a commercial port as LA, Long Beach or Seattle. More tourist hotels and new stadiums catering to billionaire team owners undercuts that goal and relegates San Diego to remaining America’s Dumbest City.

Let’s at least find an inland site to discuss if everyone insists that Alex Spanos needs yet more corporate welfare.

This touches on one of the most interesting debates in San Diego and surrounding cities today: what to do with the port. Should we try to make it a real economic engine – one that provides so many jobs that San Diego high school kids could really see a viable future joining the longshoremen and making a living wage? Or should we admit that our harbor is small and crowded as it is and we should embrace more living arrangements and tourist attractions?

Wood points out that Los Angeles, Long Beach and others are filling up, creating a viable opportunity to attract more import-export industry to San Diego. But he fails to mention that Ensenada is preparing to develop a massive working harbor. How that will affect our West Coast ports will be interesting.

What do you think our port should be?


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