We have finally put together the list of finalists for the Politifest Idea Tournament, presented by SDG&E.

Ninety-six Voice of San Diego members voted and staff added one idea to leave us with seven ideas and their makers who will advance to the Politifest stage, Saturday Sept. 29. A panel will judge them then and nominate two finalists. Then the crowd remaining at Politifest will decide the winner.

There was a pretty heavy emphasis on utilities and water supply.

The ideas:

• Scott Kelley proposes that the city partner with SDG&E to put solar panels on top of local parking lots, shading cars and generating electricity.

• George Courser proposed setting up a pipeline to pump seawater from the ocean to the Salton Sea and then freshwater from Imperial Valley to San Diego.

• Otay Water District board member Mark Robak proposes some of the 24 water districts in San Diego County would be good candidates to be consolidated. The old-timey need to form a district to get water is no longer present.

• Richard Winkler proposes “to create a string of urban forest gardens in San Diego.”

• Former Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña proposes that we publicly finance the design and installation of rainwater harvesting systems on local buildings.

• Christopher Yanov, the returning champion, proposes that the local major universities require all of their second-year students to mentor San Diego youth who would be the first persons in their families to go to college.

• Ari Isaak proposes that one interactive map should be used to provide transparency on the status of city construction projects.

Our judges for the panel are Reid Carr, CEO of Red Door Interactive and a Voice of San Diego board member, Cheryl Alethia Phelps, principal at CAP LLC and Claudia Valenzuela, the public affairs manager at SDG&E.

A huge thanks goes to former San Diego City Councilwoman Donna Frye, who created the Idea Tournament trophy, pictured above.

Correction: We originally described Mark Robak’s idea as a proposal to consolidate all the water agencies in the county into one. His proposal is actually that some of the districts would be good candidates to be consolidated. We regret the error.

I’m Scott Lewis, the CEO of Voice of San Diego. 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 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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