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Often the most controversial items that come across the San Diego City Hall’s plate are issues about which the city actually has very little say. The fury can be at its peak when leaders are voting to approve a resolution — a mere statement of principle.
Perhaps Mayor Jerry Sanders’ most memorable and wrenching political moment, in fact, came when he rejected and then endorsed a resolution in support of gay marriage. Whether it’s in support of a ballot measure or opposed to a major road construction effort outside its borders, the City Council always ends up with more passionate input than it can digest on these things.
The passionate input is coming in again. The City Council is set to vote on a resolution to endorse SDG&E’s plan to shut off electricity to the backcountry at key dangerous times during the fire season.
On Friday, City Council President Ben Hueso and Councilwoman Marti Emerald put an editorial on our site in support of the measure. They pointed out that three of the four largest fires in Southern California were started by power lines. “If power had not been running through the lines, those particular fires would not have started as they did,” Hueso and Emerald wrote.
Seeing that, Supervisor Dianne Jacob responded this weekend with a blistering opinion piece of her own claiming that properly maintaining power lines would have also prevented the fires and that SDG&E simply doesn’t want to spend the money to do that. “Given the choice between doing right by the public and protecting its bottom line, the utility is, as always, following the money,” Jacob wrote.
Yikes. The City Council will vote on the resolution today.
Another controversial resolution, this one floating at the San Diego Unified School District’s Board of Education, would endorse bilingual education. But it has a bit different take than usual. For decades, people have debated this from the perspective of whether or not it was a good solution for young people struggling to learn English.
Supporters of the resolution want the district to endorse it from a different angle: that being bilingual is a skill worth cultivating for all students.
Supporters of Olga Diaz, an Escondido City Councilwoman, wanted her to change the game in that city. In the years leading up to her election, Escondido had been attracting attention nationwide as a place willing to try most anything to combat illegal immigration.
Now that has changed with Diaz swinging the balance of power to other priorities.
In other news, back at the school district, officials have finalized details with local labor unions on a project labor agreement for the massive spending set to take place after passage of Proposition S, the facilities bond.
The contract set terms in which the unions agree not to strike in exchange for guarantees on hiring guidelines and benefits.
You might have already thought this was a done deal. So did we. Now it really is.
In case you missed it this weekend, The New York Times Sunday profiled Stand Down — the annual three-day tent event where homeless veterans receive “hot food, haircuts, massages, dental care, legal aid, referrals to drug programs and federal benefits, and above all, for some, a bit of relief from the streets.”
The L.A. Times today put out a story about the troubled condo market in downtown San Diego and the fabled Vantage Pointe project. Vantage Pointe is the largest condo project in the city and its trials and tribulations have engrossed our readers for years.
Finally, the Union-Tribune is rolling out a new database to help residents track stimulus spending in San Diego. And the paper updates us on San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders’ plan to hire someone to help him process public records requests in response to troubles in that area with us and the newspaper.
Problems can always be solved just by hiring someone, right?
Have a great week.