Our reporting relies on your support. Contribute today! 

Help us reach our goal of $250,000. The countdown is on!

Summers in San Diego politics have, in recent years, been anything but sleepy.

This one is no different. This week, with the All Star Game in the background and Comic-Con on the horizon, could have major implications for the way San Diego looks and runs for some time.

First up, today the San Diego City Council will decide whether to tell the city attorney to put together a ballot measure that would change San Diego elections dramatically. Right now, if candidates for City Council, mayor or city attorney get more than 50 percent of the vote in a primary election, they win outright, no runoff needed.

The ballot measure the council is considering would require a runoff no matter who won the primary by how much.

That’s not going to be the only ballot measure the City Council will consider advancing but it’s surely to be among the most contentious.

In a recent VOSD podcast, we talked about just how bananas the ballot is going to be thanks to the onslaught of city and state measures. We also talked to a representative of the group pushing that measure, the Independent Voter Project. And here’s the opposing view.

• The mayor is also going to push the City Council to put another ballot measure up that would set aside the money the city gets from rents it collects from resorts and others on Mission Bay not only for projects in Mission Bay Park but other regional parks as well. Balboa Park leaders are hopeful it will secure a funding stream for the many needs in the park. Something we’ve reported on at length.

• Finally, the Port of San Diego is scheduled this week to discuss the many proposals for Seaport Village. The leases there are not being removed and we are working on a special report to help people understand what’s happening.

Poway Unified Terminates Superintendent

Late Sunday, Poway Unified School District’s board reported out of the closed session that it had terminated Superintendent John Collins. The board also initiated litigation against him to recover money it alleges he owes the district. No specifics beyond that were reported. Check in to Voice of San Diego later in the day for more.

Politifest Buzz

You might have heard about the protests and unrest in many cities, including Baton Rouge, where hundreds were arrested. One of those was rather high profile: DeRay Mckesson, a Baltimore schools official who helped drive nationwide attention to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Mckesson is scheduled to be here for Politifest 2016. He’s one of two keynotes for the day, Sept. 24 at SDSU. The other keynote will be in the morning, Reihan Salam, the executive editor of the conservative National Review.

It’s going to be a great day. We’re right now settling on which debates and discussions we should host. If your group wants to be involved — perhaps as a sponsor — contact Christina Shih (christina.shih@voiceofsandiego.org) and she’ll get you to the right person.

Chula Vista Making Moves to Be More Art Friendly

Lynnette Tessitore-Lopez was recently hired to head up the city’s cultural arts program. She told me that while she knows Chula Vista might never be seen as a happening arts district like Barrio Logan or North Park, she says there’s still a lot the city can do to make culture more of an everyday occurrence for its residents.

Her first task has been putting together a new cultural arts master plan. The proposed strategy includes ideas for leveraging the city’s proximity to the international border, using non-traditional spaces like vacant retail space and commercial storefronts for arts and cultural happening and looking into new funding streams for the arts, including dipping into the city’s growing hotel tax fund.

In terms of new public artworks, the city won’t be requiring developers to help pay for them in a percent-for-art policy like the city of San Diego has. The city will instead invite developers to voluntarily put a small percentage of project fees toward paying for art.

Chargers Convadium Measure Makes the Ballot

The Chargers gathered more than 110,000 signatures in less than six weeks and the County Registrar of Voters has now vetted the signatures, which means the team’s proposal will be on the ballot come November.

The initiative proposes raising the city’s hotel tax to finance a new East Village stadium and convention center combo. The U-T talks to supporters and opponents of the measure, plus touches on a state Supreme Court case that could affect the number of votes the measure needs to pass.

This week, we’ll know if a different measure that, in part, proposes raising the hotel tax and clearing the way for a downtown convention center annex to be built, possibly with a new stadium for the Chargers.

The U-T’s Michael Smolens gets in to the legal battles that could ensue if either or both measures score a simple majority or two-thirds approval come November.

Opinion: Say No to Draconian Drought Measures

Coastkeeper’s executive director wrote a recent commentary criticizing the San Diego County Water Authority for cutting its conservation targets while California’s drought conditions continue.

Mark Weston, the chair of the Water Authority’s board of directors, says the picture Coastkeeper’s op-ed paints is “incomplete at best by only focusing on draconian water conservation measures.”

Weston says mandatory conservation is just one tool the Water Authority can use to ensure a reliable water supply. In a new op-ed for VOSD, he details the work the agency has done and says their diversified approach to water management has successfully reduced per capita water use years before water-use reductions were mandated by the state.

A Talk with San Diego’s Top Cop

San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman went on the Police Radio podcast with host Randy Sutton to talk about how the SDPD handled the recent Trump rally.

She said in the planning for the rally, the department reached out to other cities where there’d been conflicts at Trump rallies. She said those talks led her to bring together 21 different agencies that then trained together in advance of the rally to coordinate the response.

Zimmerman also discusses recruitment issues, her personal leadership style and more.

• David Loy of the ACLU went on a recent VOSD Podcast and offered an alternative take on how the SDPD handled the anti-Trump rally.

Weekend News Roundup

A recent study by the Caster Family Center for Nonprofit and Philanthropic Research at the University of San Diego shows the number of nonprofits in San Diego is growing, but it’s not all gravy. Many of the organizations lack reserve funds that could protect them against unexpected financial shortfalls. (Times of San Diego)

• CNBC says the MLB All-Star Game may be an economic home run for San Diego. See what they did there? That, my friends, will surely not be the only baseball pun in headlines about this week’s All-Star events.

Protesters advocating for gun safety showed up at Saturday’s Crossroads of the West gun show at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. (U-T)

• A Black Live Matter rally was held in downtown San Diego Sunday. (KUSI)

San Diego Social Media Moments

• I’m probably late to this party, but I had no idea this graffiti-filled waterfall existed in San Diego. This drone shot of Adobe Falls is something. I mean, I like art but I also like the untouched outdoors.

Kinsee Morlan

Kinsee Morlan was formerly the Engagement Editor at Voice of San Diego and author of the Culture...

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.