We’ve known for a while that the novel plan to fund an expansion of the Convention Center would head to court eventually. Boosters are trying to raise the hotel-room tax without a vote of the public.

Now it might be headed there even before the plan is complete: The hotel workers union plans on filing suit, saying a vote of the public is indeed needed.

City Attorney Jan Goldsmith told the union to “cool your heels.” He’s already on it, he says.

Goldsmith has emphasized that the plan is legally uncertain and planned to proactively take it to a court as soon as it was completed.

Now, onward to the week in review!

What We Learned This Week

Mayor Pronounces City’s Financial Problems ‘Over’: Voters elected Jerry Sanders to lead San Diego out of its financial and political mess. The stench from the horde of investigators at City Hall has long lifted, but getting out of the red has been the struggle of his tenure.

On Thursday, he declared victory. Not only victory over a decade of budget deficits, but also over the city’s financial problems as a whole. Liam Dillon put the announcement in historical perspective: The mayor’s achieved it through attrition, not the vast reorganization he envisioned, and done so while shorting basic infrastructure needs.

Our Scott Lewis (and his new, feisty beard) appeared on KBPS’ Evening Edition to talk about it. “What they’re saying is now revenues match up with expenses, and that’s kind of a big deal,” he said. He also got a “poo-poo” in there.

Teachers Union ‘Won’t Oppose’ Bill They Asked For: Last week, the San Diego teachers union caused a stir by backing away from a compromise movement with the district to temporarily change its frustrating layoff process. The union’s president told San Diego CityBeat on Friday that it was now willing to “not oppose” the bill by Democratic Assemblyman Marty Block.

Block authored the bill upon the union’s urging, so he’ll need the union to support it, not just not oppose it. It needs two-thirds support in the Legislature, something Block things he can get if the union does come around.

Regardless of what happens with the bill, a partnership between the union and district would be an important symbol of unity as they move forward. Catch up on the importance of the relationship between the union and the district with our latest San Diego Explained.

What Happens Behind the Curtain Is Cool, Too: San Diego Opera’s production of “Moby-Dick” shows that there can be as much drama and intrigue in the run-up to a show as there is onstage. Despite having to replace the conductor and Captain Ahab at the last second, the opera got rave reviews.

Our arts coverage this year will focus on the people, storylines and themes that emerge behind the scenes before productions and shows go live. Our first subject: Theater company Mo’olelo’s “How I Got That Story.”

We’re three stories in so far. The first looks at the risks director Seema Sueko is taking in opening up her preparation to real war veterans. The second shows what it’s like when those war veterans come in to school the actors.

The latest, which we just posted Friday evening, looks at the rollercoaster rides of dress rehearsals, when the first audiences come to see test runs.

Look for more next week in our Arts: Embedded section.

Home Prices Could Be Headed Upward: I’ll just leave it to the guru Rich Toscano himself: “Prices may have been dropping of late, but if supply remains this constrained and rates remain incredibly low (that second one is a big “if”), it’s certainly plausible that prices could start to rebound once the spring season gets underway.”

Maybe the County Isn’t That Great With Money: Supervisor Ron Roberts and Bonnie Dumanis both cleared the fact check hurdle this week in boasting of their fiscal prowess. But the fact checks actually revealed larger truths that contrasted their basic point.

Roberts said the state can learn how to handle its finances from the county, yet the county’s spending has increased at a higher rate than the state’s over the last decade and a half. Dumanis said she’d downsized her budget — she did once, but it’s still nearly one-third higher than when she took over.


Quick-Hit News from Friday

• “This is the barest the cupboard’s ever been,” that’s how one GOP strategist described the party’s roster of up-and-coming candidates. Their greatest hope? San Diego mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher.  (Sacramento Bee)

And, as in most stories and conversations about Fletcher, there is a nod to the young assemblyman’s good looks.

• I’m not the type to go all soft over a cute animal picture but the image from this story nearly made me cry: An SDSU biologist has helped document the world’s smallest reptile. (U-T San Diego)

• We’ve highlighted five reader comments from the week. Did you make it?

Our VOSD Reading list features reads on pensions, food trucks and the desert.

• Each week we round up the best coverage of City Heights from the Speak City Heights collaborative. This week’s top story: Getting to know the District 9 City Council candidates — current District 7 Councilwoman Marti Emerald and Mateo Camarillo.

• This story made me more hungry than outraged: Local governments spent more than $700,000 on holiday parties and gifts over the last two years. (U-T San Diego)

Morning Report Correction

Yesterday’s Morning Report incorrectly said a boost to the city’s budget is good news for the police cadet program. In fact, it will add more cadets to the city’s police academy. The cadet program is a separate program for kids. We regret the error.

Quote of the Week

“It’s over as of today. I’m declaring. I’ll decree.”

— Mayor Jerry Sanders, declaring financial victory.

Please contact Andrew Donohue at andrew.donohue@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0526. Follow him on Twitter: @AndrewDonohue.

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