Folks from all walks of political life have aligned against a potential November ballot measure that would hike the sales tax by half a cent to pay for freeway expansions, transportation projects and more.

The San Diego Association of Governments, the regional planning group made up of representatives from 18 cities and the county government, decided Friday to ask voters to approve the half-cent sales increase. If passed, it would raise about $18 million for a cornucopia of transportation and land needs.

There are a lot of people who don’t like SANDAG’s plan, so hosts Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts talked to three of them.

Kristin Gaspar, the mayor of Encinitas and a candidate for the District 3 county supervisor seat, said she’s opposed to the measure, in part, because of the way SANDAG is couching it as a slick sales pitch to cities and voters.

“SANDAG has basically taken all of the buzz words that poll high with voters and they’ve shoved them into this draft ballot statement,” she said.

Nicole Capretz, executive director of environmental advocacy group Climate Action Campaign, called it a “regressive sales tax to fund a transportation future that unfortunately is mostly focused on freeway and highway expansion.”

And Brian Brady, director of Stop Taxing Us, said any attempt at new taxation should be opposed, this one in particular because of how much money SANDAG wants to put in its coffers.

Also on the podcast, Lewis and Keatts talk about USA Today owner Gannett’s offer to buy Tribune Publishing, the owner of the San Diego Union-Tribune and the Los Angeles Times. They brought on one of the foremost analysts of the newspaper industry, columnist Ken Doctor, to help them parse through the news and understand the recent uptick in newspaper consolidation.

Hero of the Week

Shades Oceanfront Bistro has been a mainstay in Ocean Beach for 13 years. The owner recently announced that the restaurant would be closing this fall.

Goat of the Week

The city of San Diego has a 30 percent vacancy rate based on budget and staffing in its 911 dispatch service. The staff shortage likely played a part in the long 911 wait times experienced by the parents of a newborn baby fatally injured by their family dog.

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Kinsee Morlan was formerly the Engagement Editor at Voice of San Diego and author of the Culture Report. She also managed VOSD’s podcasts and covered...

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