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I just spoke with Mark Fabiani, special counsel to the Chargers, and he said the team was surprised – and not all too pleased – by the announcement today that city and county officials were exploring forming a joint governmental agency to deal with the team’s stadium demands.

“That the announcement did not include Chula Vista or National City was not just a surprise, but it was a disappointment,” he said.

He added: “To ignore both cities in this process really defies common sense.”

The team says that the two budding proposals from the South Bay suitors are the only viable options out there at the moment. City and county officials still believe Qualcomm Stadium could host the new stadium and auxiliary development, but Fabiani dismissed that idea, saying that the city’s financial troubles and City Attorney Mike Aguirre make it impossible to get a deal done.

“In our experience, anything involving Aguirre would be nasty, brutish and long,” Fabiani said.

And, while I was typing this up, I ended up getting in touch with three other people. Here’s what they had to say:

  • Fred Sainz, spokesman for Mayor Jerry Sanders, who got into his own minor quarrel with Aguirre recently, defended the city attorney: “They need to stop playing the blame game with the elected city attorney. It’s becoming an old and tired argument that Mike is an impediment to progress.”
  • John McCann, the Chula Vista city councilman who has been leading that city’s stadium push, said the city/county announcement was a step forward, but that any joint agency must include Chula Vista and National City.
  • National City City Manager Chris Zapata said he welcomed the proposal, noting that any proposal will need regional cooperation. He said his city will continue in its talk with the Unified Port of San Diego, which controls the land he’s eyed for a new stadium.

(Scroll down for more info on the announcement.)

ANDREW DONOHUE

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