San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders regrets nothing, it seems. At the same time, he promises just about everything.
The mayor sealed his shift from caretaker to dealmaker in his last State of the City speech. A truly balanced budget is on the way, he pledged. He’ll put the pension problem “to bed” before he leaves office. He also looks forward to lots of “success,” a word that got quite a workout during the speech, getting mentioned 27 times.
But there’s a catch. And another. There’s little chance city services and infrastructure will improve enough to reach the levels they were when he first took office.
Our Liam Dillon explains: “Even if he keeps those promises, Sanders almost certainly will pass to his successor a city that’s cut its services, particularly in libraries and parks and recreation. A city that has yet to find a way to keep its streets and other infrastructure from getting worse each year. A city that still will face a pension bill projected to rise as high as $400 million a year.”
Sanders made some news, too, saying the downtown library, already under construction, is now funded. And he emphasized how the county could play a role in building a new stadium and entertainment district.
Ex-Councilman Apparently Injured in Robbery
Former councilman and current Metropolitan Transit System board chairman Harry Mathis was injured during a robbery at his home in University City, according to NBC 7 San Diego.
“They get into a physical scuffle at some point the victim who is authorized to carry a fire arm fired two rounds in the direction of the suspect,” said Lt. David Rohowits with San Diego police.
The Latest Skinny on Fat City
In December, we brought you the story of the army of homes marching on the waterfront, which was threatening legacy industrial operations on prime land. At the heart of the dilemma is Solar Turbines, the manufacturer adjacent to Lindbergh Field and the employer of thousands of well-paid folks.
The company has been signaling for help as a 232-unit apartment complex across the street heads for approval.
Yesterday, a committee of the Centre City Development Corp. punted on the fate of the project, leaving it to the full board to decide later this month, the U-T reports.
“If (Fat City) is built, it will unavoidably change our regulatory environment,” Jim Umpleby of Solar Turbines said, the U-T reports. “If the regulatory environment changes, if this is approved, Solar could find it is no longer able to produce products competitively in San Diego, putting 3,800 local jobs at risk.”
Politicians have rallied in support of Solar Turbines. But Mayor Jerry Sanders has remained silent. Supporters of the apartment complex point to the 2006 community plan, which said homes were fine in that location. Solar Turbines fought that plan and lost.
A False Claim on Downtown Library’s Construction Crew
Councilman Todd Gloria defended redevelopment on the radio late last year, talking about downtown projects that are being funded urban renewal money. Among them is the new library, “where I understand there’s been 1,000 people at work today.”
Not quite, as San Diego Fact Check finds. The size of the daily construction crew isn’t expected to top 220, although library boosters did estimate that the total number over time would go above 1,000.
“It might seem like a small nuance, but the number of people working throughout a project and the number of people working at one point in a project is a big difference to workers’ income and financial stability,” our Keegan Kyle reports.
Gloria’s office disputes our verdict. “We still think it’s ridiculous,” a spokeswoman wrote. What do you think?
No Parole for Ex-CHP Officer in Murder
If you lived in San Diego in the 1980s, you are probably familiar with two names: Cara Knott and Craig Peyer. She was a San Diego State college student murdered in 1986 by Peyer, a CHP officer who pulled her over as she traveled on I-15 and left her dead near Mercy Road.
Yesterday, a state board denied parole to Peyer, who’s now 61 and was earlier denied parole twice, the North County Times reports.
The current district attorney, Bonnie Dumanis, and former district attorney Paul Pfingst attended the hearing, as did members of Knott’s family, including her mother Joyce, who spoke to NBC 7 San Diego. “I dread it. It’s a dreadful thing to have to do,” she said. “It’s kind of beyond anything you can imagine to go up and go into prison and go through those doors and to be taken to this room and then the monster comes in.”
More Trouble in South Bay
A big South Bay school district’s hot mess is getting hotter and messier. The U-T has the story about yet another potential scandal on the heels of allegations of massive corruption: “Eight cafeteria workers are under investigation in the Sweetwater Union High School District as officials examine allegations of widespread theft and nepotism, citing at least $500,000 in losses.”
Readers Mixed over Idea of Co-Owning Chargers
We’ve been raising the prospect of keeping the Chargers in town by allowing the public to co-own the team, something that’s now prohibited by the NFL outside of Green Bay.
A compilation of pithy comments on our site reveals a mix of views among our readers. “Ownership is just a conduit for further subsidies,” says David Parikh, while Dennis Rosche wonders “How about letting the people that want to attend Chargers games pay for the stadium?”
Meanwhile, Joshua Brant says the idea of public co-ownership “does sound nice.”
For details about the search for a new stadium, check our archive of previous stories.
Mom’s the Word
Yesterday, I wondered about a claim in a U-T editorial that food servers often double or triple their salaries thanks to tips. William Hamilton wrote to say that it’s true — at least it was when he worked at an El Torito near UCSD in the 1980s.
“There were always some extreme days either particularly high (if I had nothing but dating couples in my station) or dreadful lows (if my mom sat in my station),” he wrote.
Wait, dear ol’ Mom wouldn’t cough up 15 or 20 percent? It’s true, he replied. “The only tip my mom ever gave me was, ‘Be good to your mom.’”
Wow. It’s like they all go to Mom School or something.