Tuesday, February 06, 2007 | Tough budget times mean that our city government needs to set priorities and balance all of our legitimate (funded and unfunded) needs and desires. That also means that we have to sometimes make hard choices. Unfortunately that means that we need to cover the basics before we fund a new downtown library.

Apparently, the Centre City Development Corporation has pledged up to $80 million to build a new downtown library. It’s important to understand that CCDC is a non-profit corporation, wholly owned by the city’s redevelopment agency, AKA the City Council. The agency contracts with CCDC to staff redevelopment and land-use functions downtown. It is the elected redevelopment agency that has authority over the public redevelopment funds and functions. Those spending decisions must be made by elected officials accountable to the citizens of San Diego.

The housing affordability crisis in San Diego is impacting every aspect of our economy, our community and our family life. Instead of a downtown library, we should use all of that $80 million to build affordable family housing so that people that work downtown can live downtown.

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