A key supporter of the new $294 million Civic Center is urging San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders to veto a November ballot measure on the project.

The San Diego Downtown Partnership, which was to be one of the primary backers of a campaign in favor of the project, is arguing essentially that a ballot measure will fail because fundraising is slow due to the recession and there isn’t enough time to mount an effective campaign.

“As a result of these realities and the expected shortage of financial resources, we are not optimistic about the prospect of organizing an effective campaign prior to the November election,” the partnership’s President and CEO Shirley Horton wrote in a letter today to Sanders.

Horton added that City Council should approve the project on its own, which backers say would result in cost savings to the city, without a public vote.

The letter comes at a time when City Council is holding an emergency meeting Friday to decide if it will put a fiscal reform package that includes a half-cent sales tax increase before voters in November.

Frye, Councilwoman Marti Emerald, among others, have expressed concern that any tax increase would not do well next to a new City Hall on the ballot.

The partnership’s letter doesn’t mention the proposed sales tax.


Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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