San Diego’s independent budget analyst, Andrea Tevlin, is recommending the city move toward an exclusive negotiating agreement with a Portland-based developer looking to rebuild the City Hall complex.

In a report issued today, Tevlin suggests the City Council discuss parameters for a negotiating agreement with city staffers before such an agreement would come to a vote. Among the requirements, Tevlin said, the city shouldn’t reimburse developer Gerding Edlen’s negotiating costs and should provide financial specifications, such as requiring a certain amount of savings.

Whether or not the project legally requires a public vote, as Councilman Carl DeMaio has called for, Tevlin says a ballot measure may be desirable:

It is of the utmost importance that the financial viability of this project holds up to public scrutiny ensuring a transparent process.

Tevlin’s report recommends the council ask for more research on certain aspects of the proposal, including the proposed financing. The developer has proposed a financing method that the city hasn’t used before, according to the report. The IBA report notes that a 2006 report from the Washington state treasurer described these types of bond offerings as having higher financing and issuance costs.

The City Council’s Rules, Open Government and Intergovernmental Relations Committee will discuss the issue at 9 a.m. Wednesday at City Hall. For more background, read our past stories.


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