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San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced the members of his task force to figure out a stadium recommendation to keep the Chargers in town.
But the mayor is leaving himself a lot of escape hatches. He said in his State of the City speech that the issue would be decided on his watch and a proposal would go to the voters.
He hedged a little bit on that Friday. He said the task force would unveil a proposal in fall 2015 but a vote on it appears not to be guaranteed.
“If there is broad support for the proposal, it will be slated for a citywide vote, which will allow all San Diego voters to have the final say in this matter,” he wrote.
That broad support will not start generating for a while. It’s not an official city commission, so the group’s hearings will not be subject to open meetings laws. The mayor’s spokesman told me they don’t plan to meet in public at all.
That’s a major distinction from the last Citizens Task force on Chargers Issues, which met in public, moved its meetings around the city and let reporters watch. Here’s a reflection from that experience by one of the members, Geoff Patnoe.
The Pension Reform Committee, Mayor’s Citizen Task Force on the San Diego Convention Center Project and other similar efforts were all done in public following open meetings laws.
• The mayor’s chief of communications joked that it should be more fun to refer to this group not as a task force but by its official name, the Citizens’ Stadium Advisory Group. “You mean to say CSAG is not catching on?” he wrote.
• The NFL commissioner gave San Diego a scolding at his big annual press conference before the Super Bowl.
Young People Heart (Or Just Have to Use) Cars
Andy Keatts looked and could not find much in the way of data to support the claim that young people in San Diego want it to be a more transit-oriented city. Transit advocates say of course young people want to live near transit — the reason they don’t is because the city hasn’t provided them the option, not because they love driving.
What We Learned This Week
• Scott Barnett, the fiercest critic of the school district’s plan to sell off land, tried to get in on one of the land deals.
• One pastor who endorsed Mayor Kevin Faulconer last year says the mayor needs to make himself more available.
Quick News Hits
• The bike-sharing program in San Diego is now up and running. KPBS tells us which stations are a go.
• In 2009, we looked into Stutz, Artiano, Shinoff and Holtz, the law firm that seems to get most of the San Diego County Office of Education business. The firm got to screen the job candidates who later oversaw the firm.
Now the U-T has done a new probe and found that $4.6 million of $6.6 million in legal work went to the firm in the past three years. “Critics say the setup is insular and cozy among insiders at the agency, known as the San Diego County Schools Risk Management Joint Powers Authority,” writes the U-T.
• Sdnews.com: “An appellate court ruled Jan. 30 that the city of San Diego acted legally in 2010 when it repaired a ruptured storm drain whose outflow was eroding a steep slope and threatening to destabilize the hillside below homes in La Jolla.”
• The Atlantic finds some of the most wasteful school districts are in California.
Quote of the Week
“It’s a terrible stadium. By today’s standards, it’d be last or next to last, depending on where you want to rank it with Oakland. I don’t mean that to be offensive, but that’s a fact.”