This week, we look at what you’re saying about promoting San Diego, managed competition, community plans, the city attorney’s record and how San Diego Unified’s fared selling real estate.

Here are five comments from the week:

Michael Aguirre, former city attorney, on “The City Attorney’s Seven Biggest Letdowns“:

My friend Jan Goldsmith has learned being city attorney is really hard. There are many factors not under your control. Judges do not always agree with the city attorney. Your fellow elected officials tend to listen to your legal advice when you tell them what they want to hear and not when you don’t.

What is most important is that the city attorney being an advocate for the people. The city attorney must safeguard the right of the people to gain access to public records and to keep decision making in the open. Internal financial controls must be enforced and disclosures to those who entrust us with their money and buy our city bonds must receive full disclosure.

I respect Scott Lewis for keeping the record straight. I was on the receiving end of his articles and they always stung. But I must say they made me reflect and attempt to get better.

Nicole Larson on “What the Tourism Authority (ConVis) Actually Does“:

Thanks, Scott, for pointing out the discrepancies and distortions in the hoteliers’ claims. You’re right — that must have been an extraordinary ad buy they canceled! I sure hope Filner sticks to his position. We need a lot more transparency and protections for taxpayers. I find Terzi’s salary, paid by tax dollars, indefensible. City Council members need to remember who elected them, not who financed their campaigns. And what’s wrong with making a sizable contribution to the 2015 Balboa Park celebration, from which the hotels stand to receive major benefits, and indemnifying taxpayers if their questionable tax is ruled illegal? Oh, yes, hoteliers are accustomed to calling the shots. I forgot they rule the city.

Jeff Brazel on “In SD Unified’s Rush to Sell Land, Taxpayers Could Lose Millions“:

All true the school district should not be in the real estate development business, they also should not be holding unused or under-utilized property for so long. The realities are that they could certainly get more for the properties if they managed the assets, and could be decisive about the direction they take with those assets. They have been talking about selling these assets for over 10 years, conducted various studies, paid consultants to do various tasks and still they hold under-utilized assets. What has the cost of holding these assets been to the district, have they incurred any liabilities over the years?

Mark Giffin on “Managed Competition Still on Timeout“:

Elections have consequences.

The current mayor and the Democrats on the council have neither the political will nor the belief in managed competition.

It’s all but dead by design.

Sharon Gehl on “The Limits of a Community Plan“:

Updating a community plan about every 10 years might seem like a good idea, until you consider that it can take five to eight years to get through the process in San Diego. That means that the majority of the 52 communities would be undergoing the process at any one time. It would seem as if a neighborhood had only just finished before it would be time to start again.

The very fact that a community is going through a plan update can make it harder for property owners to plan for the future. There might even be a moratorium on new construction. The current “temporary” reductions in building heights in Uptown have stopped construction in major sections of the community for years.

Housing is a commodity, subject to the laws of supply and demand. The harder it is to build new housing, the more expensive it becomes for all of us.

Comments have been lightly edited for typos, spelling and style.


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Dagny Salas is the web editor at Voice of San Diego. You can contact her directly at dagny.salas@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.550.5669.

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Dagny Salas

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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