Welp, we were right.
In October, we reported that SANDAG’s last sales tax was bringing in far less revenue than expected and some of the projects promised to voters were in doubt, and that Measure A was similarly unlikely to bring in the $18 billion voters were promised on November’s ballot.
On Friday, SANDAG conceded that all of that was right.
SANDAG staff told the board of directors that it would need to find $17 billion from unknown state or federal sources in the coming decades to build all of the projects it promised voters back in 2004. That would be an unprecedented level of success competing for outside funds for the regional planning agency.
The report also quietly acknowledged that SANDAG’s forecasting methodology is broken. The agency is revamping that forecast and is for now relying on outside forecasts instead. That’s a tacit admission that the tax hike it asked voters to approve last month wouldn’t have brought in the money it said it would.
How did the elected officials on SANDAG’s board react to all this at the hearing on Friday? They didn’t. No one asked a single question. Councilwoman Lorie Zapf considered saying something, but decided not to because the meeting was running over schedule.
Earlier in the year, the independent oversight committee created specfically to monitor the tax program likewise failed to identify and scrutinize the agency’s revenue shortfall. The committee’s chair said its job is to make sure money that comes in is spent efficiently, not to pay attention to how much money is coming in.
Border Report: How to Make a Border Wall Disappear
A Mexico-based performance artist has painted a stretch of the wall between Tijuana and San Diego sky blue; stand back and look north from Playas, and it blends seamlessly with the sky above it.
The artist, Ana Teresa Fernandez, calls it “Borrando la Frontera,” for “erasing the border.” She’s done the work several times before, most recently in April.
She says it’s intended to help people imagine life without the separating barrier.
That’s the lead story in Brooke Binkowski’s latest Border Report.
Binkowski also took a look inside the four-part series, “Death at the Border,” Jean Guerrero did for KPBS last week on the people who die crossing the rugged border area. Guerrero tells Binkowski that she ended up shooting much of the video for the series on her iPhone, because professional cameras weren’t practical on the difficult terrain.
The report also includes a story from El Universal, which reports that just a few years after taking control of drug trafficking in Tijuana, the Jalisco Cartel is now thought to be setting up shop in major U.S. cities.
Activists Speak Out Against Cole Picks
A group of community members is disappointed with the people Council President Myrtle Cole put on the committee tasked with overseeing the San Diego Police Department. Khalid Alexander, founder of the nonprofit Pillars of the Community, said the committee should be represented by Council members whose districts are directly concerned with racial profiling and police harassment, reports KPBS.
In July, Cole faced calls to resign from community members in her district upset over comments she made suggesting racial profiling by police was justified. She apologized for the remarks.
Cole was elected Council president last week.
In Other News
• Before the Electoral College formally cast its votes to make Donald Trump the country’s next president, protesters took the streets downtown urging electors to vote against him. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
California’s electors cast all their votes for Hillary Clinton, as expected. San Diego’s own Christine Kehoe, a former City Council member and state legislator, collected California’s ballots.
• inewsource put together a map of all the code compliance violations filed in San Diego over the last three years. The leading culprit? Unpermitted buildings.
• The San Diego Unified Port District has greenlit $32.7 million in improvements to the 10th Avenue Marine Terminal and hopes to complete the work by 2020. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
• The Beacon Classical Academy, a charter school in National City, has been given a notice for dozens of infractions, including failure to meet educational standards, pay its payroll taxes, provide safe facilities, hire licensed contractors and follow open records and meetings laws. Filing the notice of violations is the first step the National School District would have to do to revoke the elementary school’s charter. (San Diego Union-Tribune)