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San Diego’s City Council will return early from its vacation this month and talk about something of absolutely no consequence.
Next Tuesday, the council will discuss overriding a mayoral veto over the new $296 million City Hall project, a meaningless conversation given the meeting’s timing.
Nothing the council decides will allow the project to appear on the November ballot.
The new $296 million City Hall was scheduled for a November public vote until Mayor Jerry Sanders, the project’s top supporter, vetoed the ballot measure.
Sanders cited the difficulty in raising money for a campaign. There was also the inconvenient political truth that a new building for city bureaucrats likely wouldn’t fare well on the ballot next to a sales tax increase.
The city’s charter requires the council to reconsider mayoral vetoes within 30 days. But the deadline to get anything on the ballot, Aug. 6, already passed.
A spokeswoman for Council President Ben Hueso’s office said he put the issue on the council agenda to comply with the charter.
“From a practical standpoint, an override is somewhat irrelevant in terms of a ballot measure,” said Michelle Ganon, Hueso’s spokeswoman.
The meeting, Ganon said, already was scheduled for the council to reauthorize special funding for various issues.
Councilman Carl DeMaio, a proponent of a public vote, pushed for a discussion prior to but Hueso ignored the request.
A discussion of the veto could allow council members to address supporting the new City Hall without a public vote, as some backers have urged. Four of the eight council members have pledged to have the item go to voters.
Ganon said she didn’t know if Hueso was going to allow council members to debate the project next Tuesday.
— LIAM DILLON