Spooked that its days are numbered, Civic San Diego is an organization with one mission right now: to find a reason to continue existing. Andrew Keatts reported on how the organization, which is a Frankesteinian mash-up of the Centre City Development Corporation and the Southeastern Economic Development Corporation, is looking for ways to reanimate itself with new purpose. So what’s the plan?
“It wants to designate specific areas in the city … for a series of programs aimed at lowering the cost of development to stimulate new projects,” Keatts reports. They have their eye on so-called “transit-oriented economic opportunity areas,” which at this point is code for areas in Encanto and City Heights. But there’s a problem. “In a letter to the city’s human resources director, the Municipal Employee Association’s lawyer made clear the union was not on board.”
Aguirre Still All About Pensions
Former City Attorney and long-shot candidate for mayor Mike Aguirre wants everyone to know he still thinks San Diego’s pension situation is a horror show, and he’s spreading the message despite his opponents’ ambivalence on the issue. Lisa Halverstadt checked in on why Aguirre is still trying to scare up attention for the issue, even when other mayoral candidates think the issue should rest in peace. “It’s what he knows – and what helped him get elected city attorney,” Halverstadt writes. “He’s convinced this message will help his mayoral bid, if only San Diegans hear his elevator pitch.”
• Aguirre came up in San Diego politics with a reputation of fighting for the people. But after only one term in the city attorney’s office, he was burnishing a reputation as more of a fighter of the people, or just a divisive fighter in general. Those are two of the several facts about Aguirre that Scott Lewis and NBC San Diego’s Catherine Garcia shed some light on in our most recent San Diego Explained.
For Want of a Woman
The ballot of mayoral candidates has many gifted men on it, but make no mistake, it only has men on it. Sara Libby noted several occasions in this mayoral race where a female candidate could have likely offered something different than the current field. For example, “having a woman in the race could actually help avoid some of the creepy fixation on Nathan Fletcher’s appearance,” she wrote.
Technology Deserves More Attention
Member Benjamin Katz wrote in to highlight the issue he thinks needs more airtime in this mayoral race: information technology. “In many ways, solid knowledge of IT is more critical than many other issues a mayor is expected to grasp,” writes Katz. “Not only is proper use of IT already an essential function for good government, it is also advancing rapidly.” Katz notes the need for modernization in San Diego’s IT infrastructure and how inadequate understanding of IT can end up causing situations like the federal government’s Healthcare.gov woes.
San Diegans for Orgs With Obfuscated Names
Many readers are familiar with the mailers being widely disbursed to San Diego voters, informing them (with varying degrees of accuracy) about the positive and negative aspects of each candidate. The mailers come from groups like “San Diegans to Protect Jobs and the Economy” or the “Orange County Dignity PAC.” Citybeat bit off a chunk of these mysterious groups (political action committees, the lot of ’em) and broke down who they are, which candidate they support and how much they’ve spent in the current race for mayor.
Mayoral Profiles Aplenty
U-T San Diego wrapped up its series looking at criticisms faced by each top mayoral candidate with an inspection of Nathan Fletcher’s biggest obstacles. Meanwhile, KPBS delved deep into the life and times of David Alvarez . Then they looked further down the field of hopefuls at the lesser-known candidates for mayor, and what issues those men wish San Diegans would pay attention to.
• The fight over whether yoga should be allowed in Encinitas’s public schools isn’t over yet.
• An internal feud between members of the San Diego Police Department is spilling out into the public in the form of lawsuits and accusations.
• Citybeat bemoaned the lackluster vision for addressing homelessness in the city expressed by all the major candidates for mayor.
• Opponents of the recently passed Barrio Logan community plan update submitted the results of their signature-gathering drive. If the signatures are certified, the City Council will have to decide whether to rescind its decision or to put the issue on a 2014 ballot.
• La Mesa, National City and Imperial Beach are the most walkable cities in San Diego County.
• San Diego State University bought a 50-unit apartment complex for $26 million, which works out to more than $500,000 per apartment. SDSU sold the land the apartments were built on for $1.83 million in 2009, the U-T reported.
High Technology Meets Traffic Cop
A woman driving in San Diego made headlines across the internet yesterday when she reported being pulled over by California Highway Patrol. While she was stopped for speeding, she soon found herself in a more high-tech version of hot water. She was cited for “driving with a monitor visible” because she was wearing Google Glass, which is that company’s advanced eyewear that projects interactive images directly onto the lens. She’s thought to be the first person to be cited for wearing Glass while driving.
Meanwhile, scientists at UC San Diego want to build you an entire human-like robot (complete with a creepy, life-like child’s face). Perhaps it will be allowed to wear Glass while driving you around town?