Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher kicked off a lively conversation Friday on Twitter about the state of downtown San Diego.
He was responding to my story and a tweet from local environmental attorney Livia Borak that questioned his legislation allowing continued downtown redevelopment subsidies without proof downtown still needed it.
The proof of downtown blight, Fletcher wrote, comes simply from walking around certain downtown neighborhoods.
“walking down C street corridor or anywhere East of 11th street affirms that blight still exists,” Fletcher tweeted.
Great point, assemblyman!
Taxpayers actually have paid experts $43,840 to take that walk and see if downtown was still blighted. The information collected during this walk would have helped determine if downtown met the legal and technical blight standards required in state law.
This survey, completed by consultant 3D Visions, is a key part of the information I’m seeking from San Diego’s downtown redevelopment agency. The agency, the Centre City Development Corp., promised these records to me seven weeks ago, but hasn’t turned it over.
If you believe that all it takes to prove blight is a walk around downtown, you should want to see 3D Visions’ work.
So even though I was critical of Fletcher on Twitter for oversimplifying the blight issue — Fletcher made the same argument at a downtown redevelopment forum earlier this month — in a sense he was right. Walking around downtown matters.
And yes, the weather is lovely today. But I’d prefer to see the $44,000 taxpayer-funded downtown blight walk than to do it myself.
Fletcher didn’t respond on Twitter to my request seeking his assistance to pressure CCDC and Keyser Marston to release the information they owe me.
I asked him the same question after Mayor Jerry Sanders’ State of the City speech on Jan. 12.
“I’m going to let you work that out with CCDC and Marston,” Fletcher replied. “I’m not jumping into that one.”