Chula Vista voters will decide in November on the fundamental issue of whether they trust their city government to spend money on what it says it will. Measure P proposes to raise the sales tax in Chula Vista by one-half cent for the next 10 years, with the intention that the city will use the tax revenues to repair public infrastructure like roads or police cars. But Maya Srikrishnan reports the tax revenues gained from Measure P would actually go into the city’s general fund, and could be used for any legal purpose regardless of its relation to public infrastructure. “The city estimates the measure will generate roughly $16 million in the first year and $176 million over 10 years,” Srikrishnan reports.

To raise taxes for earmarked projects, cities must win the votes of a much larger percentage of the electorate than for a tax increase that goes to the general fund. Chula Vista leaders, like leaders in other cities, instead seek to pass tax increases on a straight majority vote and ask voters to trust city leaders to spend the money on promised projects, even though there’s no legal requirement for them to do it. Mayor Mary Salas said if Measure P passes, “opponents and supporters of the measure alike will watch like hawks how the revenue is used.”

Water District Sinking Under Cheap Rates

The Vallecitos Water District serves neighborhoods in and around San Marcos in North County. Recently the district has been on a spending spree, drawing down its ample savings in order to stay afloat while it sells water to its customers at prices lower than what the district paid to get it. Ry Rivard reports the district this year purchased units of water at $40.32 each, but sold them for $38.72 each. Multiply that loss to cover the entire district a you have a district leaking, or perhaps even gushing public money.

“Several people suggest some board members are only keeping rates low to look good as they approach Election Day,” Rivard reports. Candidates for the board are using the loss or the threat of higher prices for ratepayers as a wedge to get voter attention. “This is going to bite us in the backside,” said outgoing board member Jim Hernandez.

San Diego’s got its own water plans in action. The City Council this week surged forward with plans to convert sewage to drinking water, and also made some choices that bring down taxpayer and environmental costs. “The council approved plans to begin recycling 30 million gallons a day of sewage into drinking water by 2021,” the Union-Tribune’s David Garrick reports.

The Spanoses: San Diego Explained

The Spanos family is famous in San Diego for its majority ownership of the Chargers football team. But the family’s 93 year-old patriarch had much humbler beginnings, tracing back to 1951 and selling food and board to Mexican immigrants who were coming into America to work the farms. By the mid-1980s, Spanos had converted his success selling basic services to immigrant workers into ownership of valuable real estate and a sports team. Ry Rivard and NBC 7’s Monica Dean dig into the history of one of San Diego’s celebrity families in our most recent San Diego Explained.

A Plea for ‘Yes’ on Measure B

Gary H. London, president of The London Group Realty Advisors, wants voters to approve Measure B in November, which would green-light a new development project near rural Valley Center. Viewing growth as a choice between urban infill and sprawl is a mistake, London writes. “Each housing type serves a different type of housing demand.” Many middle-aged people prefer suburban life, and there is no where else where the same number of single-family homes can be accommodated except in these remote areas, London argues. “Measure B serves as a call for action to the Board of Supervisors that the county’s general plan needs to be revised to provide a path for more large-scale development.”

Judge Needs Judgin’

It was 2012 and San Diegans went to the polls facing a choice for who to elect as Superior Court judge: Peed or Kreep. It was a battle of strange names that a largely unaware public ended up deciding in favor of Gary Kreep, much to the shock of legal insiders. Now, one full election cycle later, Citybeat’s Dave Maass reports Kreep is faced with 11 allegations of violating the Code of Judicial Ethics during and before his time on the bench. “If the Commission finds against him, Kreep could face admonishment, censure or even removal from the bench,” Maass writes.

Thursday night Kreep’s lawyer responded to the allegations with an extensive written response. (Union-Tribune)

Lightning Round

Port commissioners are eager to redevelop Seaport Village, but local fishermen are on high alert for any changes that could hurt the local fishing economy. (inewsource)

 Qualcomm announced its biggest acquisition ever on Thursday, a $47 billion purchase of a Dutch computer chip company that focuses on car and mobile technology. (KPBS)

• Sometimes voters registered to vote by mail will receive two ballots. If a voter casts two ballots, a bunch of systems exist to catch it and prosecute any intentional fraud. (Union-Tribune)

 Tony Hawk may think the stadium proposed by Measure C is ridiculous, but Mario Lopez thinks it’s a good idea for us to have a “world class stadium” and supports the measure. No word yet from Blink 182. (NBC 7)

 Smaller cities throughout San Diego County are appalled by the state proposition to legalize recreational marijuana and are scrambling to enact local cannabis bans ahead of the November vote. (Union-Tribune)

 This San Diego man jumped off a cliff in the Swiss Alps, glided for a while using his wingsuit, crashed into a tree while traveling at about 90 miles per hour and lived to tell about it on the GoFundMe page where he is asking for help with his medical bills. Youtube video included! (Union-Tribune)

Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can email him at or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

Seth Hall is co-founder of the community group San Diego Privacy, which is a member of the TRUST SD Coalition.

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