Journalism won’t die if you donate. Support Voice of San Diego today!

A couple months ago, CityBeat reported on the creation of a “Civic Leadership Team” of business and community leaders that would help San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders push his agenda.

Here’s an indication of what they’re up to.

Bill Geppert, Cox Communications senior vice president, San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation chairman and chairman of the mayor’s Civic Leadership Team, sent a memo to other team members yesterday afternoon calling for action on a proposal that would call on the City Council to sign off on major downtown hotel projects.

The headline was “Urgent Call To Arms!!!”

Geppert began:

Fellow Team Members:

We apologize for the last-minute notice, but we were informed today that the San Diego City Council’s Land Use and Housing Committee (LU&H) will take up an item tomorrow that could potentially derail downtown redevelopment. We know how busy you are, but if you can attend the meeting or get a message to the Committee members, your actions may assist the City rebuff an ill-advised ploy by organized labor.

Recipients of Geppert’s e-mail were prominent San Diego community members. Think Malin Burnham, Steve Cushman, Ben Haddad, Mel Katz, Judith Harris, Cheryl Kendrick, etc.

The Land Use and Housing Committee is considering making all downtown hotel projects of more than 200 rooms subject to final review by the City Council, instead of the city’s downtown redevelopment arm, the Centre City Development Corp. Further, Councilman Todd Gloria, the committee’s chairman, is requesting that the city amend its operating agreement with CCDC so that any of CCDC’s decisions could come before council if three council members request it.

A research analyst for an organized labor group wrote a memo in support of the additional oversight for hotel projects while CCDC’s staff recommended against adding the council review because citing the potential politicization of land-use decisions.

Geppert wrote that the changes only would benefit organized labor to the detriment of downtown redevelopment.

“This is a power grab, pure and simple,” he said in the e-mail.

He asked for team members to attend the committee meeting or contact committee members and attached their contact information.

Geppert thanked the team for its help and praised its previous work.

Again, thanks for anything you can do at this late hour. Our team had a great success last week with the Civic Center vote, and we hope to make a difference again tomorrow!

I have a call in to Geppert to talk more about the memo and the role of the Civic Leadership Team.

Correction: Due to an editing error, the original version of this first stated that the City Council would review all downtown hotel projects. That has been corrected. We regret the error.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.