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If a San Diego family owns a home valued at $500,000, its annual property taxes would go up about $250 if Scott Barnett, a trustee for the San Diego Unified School District, gets his way.

Barnett is plugging two tax hikes: one a construction bond, and one a parcel tax. But it’s not to add new facilities or pay for new programs. The influx of money would barely keep buildings maintained and it would restore a major cut to teacher pay Barnett’s also pursuing.

I called Barnett to confirm he really was going to keep after both proposals simultaneously. He is. And since one of the jobs of the consultant Barnett and his colleagues hired was to approach the San Diego County Taxpayers Association for help passing the construction bond, well, I asked the Taxpayers Association’s Lani Lutar for her take.

She wasn’t impressed.

• The first comment on the post is from a teacher who says “So, if I am to understand correctly, the Board did not have the guts to make the difficult decision to close schools; a difficult but necessary decision in these difficult economic times. Yet, they think the public is going to support not 1 but 2 tax increases?”

• District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, who’s running for mayor, is trying to distinguish herself from her rivals with a rising drumbeat of criticism about the city’s school system. On Thursday, at her first mayoral forum with rivals Nathan Fletcher and Bob Filner, Dumanis said the mayor “has to be a leader in the public education system.”

She declined several opportunities to explain what that would look like, including when Andrew Donohue pressed her for specifics on the radio. The mayor and City Council have no official role in district oversight. Here’s how the mayoral candidates told us they look at local schools.

Touchdowns Smorgasbord

Sam Hodgson was in place yesterday to catch a trove of splendid photographs from the Chargers’ shootout with the Green Bay Packers.

Detractors of the Hotel Room Tax Hike

Some hotel owners are revolting against a plan that would raise hotel room taxes across the city by 1-to-3 percent — depending on how close they are to downtown — to fund construction of a major Convention Center expansion, the Union-Tribune reports. The detractors are proposing a plan that would increase the room tax more downtown and less in other areas.

What caught my eye was this paraphrased response from Steve Cushman, the mayor’s liaison for the project: “A 4 percent surcharge, for example, would bring total room taxes and levies to 16.5 percent, which would put San Diego at a competitive disadvantage, he said.”

And that statement would seem to confirm everyone agrees this is a tax increase that somehow is being passed without a vote. Imagine if schools could do that. Here’s my explainer of the Comic Con Tax and legal wrangling that’s behind the effort to do this without going to the voters.

The hotel workers union and the Chargers (yes, the team that filled local hotel rooms with Packer fans this weekend) have both claimed the maneuver is illegal.

Misinterpreting a Judge

We’ve updated the headline to this piece Friday about an ongoing police misconduct trial. We misinterpreted the judge’s comment, and we apologize for how it came out. Here’s an explanation of what happened.

Vision for the Future, Delayed for More Visioning

The San Diego Foundation’s ambitious regional effort dubbed “Our Greater San Diego Vision” is being delayed. (U-T) The delay will allow the organization time to consider the future of Rancho Guejito (we explained that issue here) and the future of Qualcomm Stadium and the land underneath it. The foundation is trying to step into a leadership void created by a lack of capability or trust in government and business.

Your Voices

We have several new posts in our Fix San Diego opinion section. Joseph Theriault from South Park wonders why we have so many random patches of grass to water when we don’t have any water to waste. Robert Simmons from Mira Mesa says street light crews should work at night so they could find other lights not working in the area they’re called to.

Alfred Strohlein from PB says the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control needs to allow public comment during its hearings. And Jessica McKimmie wants citywide composting.

What’s your suggestion to Fix San Diego? Drop it here.

Occupy Portraits

Union-Tribune writer Matt Hall posted portraits of the Occupy San Diego protesters. The one that grabbed my attention the most was Melissa Vega, 19, from Mount Hope.

She said, among many other things, this: “The U.S. is in so much debt. We can’t pay that off. We have other countries lending us money, and I think that’s going on our shoulders and the shoulders of our children.”

That could have come from the lips of a Tea Partier, no?

I’m Scott Lewis, the CEO of voiceofsandiego.org. Please contact me if you’d like at scott.lewis@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0527 and follow me on Twitter (it’s a blast!):

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Scott Lewis

Scott Lewis oversees Voice of San Diego’s operations, website and daily functions as Editor in Chief. He also writes about local politics, where he frequently...

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