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We’ve crunched the numbers so you don’t have to, and we now figure that the proposed stadium deal would cost taxpayers nearly $1 billion.
“The analysis includes all the public money the task force said would need to go toward the stadium, plus the money to prepare the Mission Valley site for development and some costs the task force neglected,” VOSD’s Liam Dillon reports. “Most notably, the task force did not factor in the price tag to operate and maintain the facility every year — something that costs the city about $11 million a year at the current site.”
• Guess who seems to think taxpayers should invest even more money on the Chargers, maybe like a Gatorade ice bath, because the cost is too much for the Bolts to bear.
• The City Council agreed to give almost $450,000 to the San Diego Bowl Game Association, which puts on the Poinsettia and Holiday bowl games. That’s not enough to pay the recent annual compensation of the association’s top two officials. (City News Service/Reader)
• L.A. is counting Super Bowls before they’re hatched. All that’s needed for incubation: A stadium. (L.A. Times)
Poway Teachers (and Admins) Get Raises
The Poway Unified school board approved a 2.5 percent pay raise for all employees this week. Thanks to me-too clauses in their employment contracts, Superintendent John Collins and assistant superintendents Malliga Tholandi and Tracy Hogarth will get the same boost, even though they negotiated the raises with the district’s union groups, a predicament we highlighted last month.
Before voting to award managers and administrators a raise Monday, Poway school board member Charles Sellers asked Collins if he’d forgo his me-too provision.
“Mr. Sellers, this item is not about my contract. My contract is to be discussed privately in closed session,” Collins replied tersely. The move gives Collins an extra $8,200 on top of his $330,000 salary, and Tholandi and Hogarth an extra $4,000 each.
Prosecutors Investigating Supervisor?
The U-T says local prosecutors are investigating embattled County Supervisor Dave Roberts “after former staffers accused the supervisor of misusing public resources, offering a raise and promotion to mislead a human resources inquiry, and engaging in an improper relationship with his driver.”
News of the investigation comes from a former Roberts employee and unidentified “others,” the U-T says. Through a spokesman, Roberts denied wrongdoing.
Fight Begins over Highway 94
Officials want to top off Highway 94 with another level that would serve carpoolers and buses with dedicated lanes. The idea is to bring the city another “rapid bus” line that doesn’t have to deal with as much traffic as other buses or cars themselves, a la the rapid bus with its own lane in the Hillcrest/University Heights area.
You might expect environmentalists would love this idea. But, as CityBeat reports, some firmly believe that expanding highways just leads to more traffic and sprawl. They don’t want a new $600 million level, although they do like the idea of pulling existing lanes away from regular drivers and giving them to carpoolers and buses.
Where that $5 Billion Is Going
We’ve put together a helpful guide to our examinations of how San Diego Unified is spending the $5 billion that it’s borrowed to pay for school projects thanks to Propositions S and Z.
Among other things, we’ve revealed that the district doesn’t do a good job of tracking removal of hazardous materials like asbestos, it does like to put school stadiums ahead of other things (like classroom repairs), and it spent a bundle on tech.
• San Diego Unified doesn’t serve several parts of the city, including San Ysidro. The school district that runs elementary schools in that neighborhood seems to have recovered from scandal enough to get its bond rating boosted, allowing property owners to save millions as they pay off previous district loans. (inewsource)
L.A. Minimum Wage Boost Makes Waves
The approval of a new $15-an-hour minimum wage in Los Angeles (by 2020) is getting a ton of national attention.
The NY Times is impressed: “Low-wage workers who have been demonstrating for higher pay are leading politicians where they need to go, and the real leaders among those politicians are following the workers.”
But what about the L.A. Times, which is gearing up to partner with the U-T and — in the dreams of local progressives — get rid of the local paper’s conservative slant forever? Well, the Times likes the idea of raising the minimum wage, but it positively wilted at the idea of boosting it all the way to $15 by 2020. No need to be too, you know, progressive.
Quick News Hits: Brrrrrr-n
• “The American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against Escondido, accusing the city of unlawful discrimination in its rejection of a migrant youth shelter last year.” (KPBS)
• A Glassdoor “Best Cities for Jobs” ranking of the 50 biggest U.S. cities leaves San Diego way behind almost all the rest: We’re at 48th for cost of living (even behind San Francisco and NYC!), and 43rd for “Hiring Opportunity.”
But there’s some good news: We’re in third place for “Job Satisfaction.” Maybe because everybody knows they can leave their job and go outside? A city in New York gets the worst “Job Satisfaction” rating, so maybe I’m onto something.
In lieu of a better tagline from Don Draper, here’s a suggested new slogan for our fair city: “Well, Sure Beats Buffalo.”
Correction: An earlier version of this post misstated the Poway superintendent’s compensation.
Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and national president of the 1,200-member American Society of Journalists and Authors (asja.org). Please contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.