Thursday, Sept. 28, 2006 | Open and honest government in San Diego suffered another blow yesterday when Mayor Sanders floated the idea that the city buy the rights to an acre of the Navy Broadway Complex land from Manchester Financial using public funds to increase green space in the project to 2.9 acres. Apparently, the infamous 1992 agreement that Manchester and the Navy have long claimed as immutable can be changed if Manchester benefits.

Nancy Graham, President of CCDC, destroyed any remaining shreds of credibility she had left as an honest broker representing the San Diego public interest by her proposal to have the CCDC board vote on the technical details of the Manchester Financial redevelopment proposal and ignore for the time being the real issues of whether the proposed plans are for a world class, iconic public space or just mundane buildings that simply extend downtown to the waterfront and wall off the bay. This Trojan horse would get Manchester Financial a contract with the Navy that would inexorably seal a bad deal for the public before they even knew what was happening.

Another set of machinations that raise the issue of whether the current administration is really just a leaderless Murphy II rerun is the total disregard of all parties involved in the backroom maneuvering that the environmental impact of the Manchester proposal has not been adequately studied. Any attempt to move forward with the Manchester plan without a valid EIR would make a mockery of California environmental law embodied in the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and invite a lawsuit.

The mayor’s proposal to buy out Manchester’s interest in an acre of the Broadway Complex land with public money is a slap in the face of the long suffering San Diego public.

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