SANDAG’s faulty economic forecast system, which the agency knew about but didn’t acknowledge until after Andrew Keatts revealed the problem, isn’t the only thing that’s been obscured from public view.
This week, Keatts reported that the agency in charge of regional transportation projects also hid the fact that the cost of the projects it promised to voters in the TransNet program have risen by about $8 billion.
It’s now clear that SANDAG’s revenue projections were far too high and its estimated project costs far too low, which means there’s now a $17 billion funding shortfall.
In this week’s podcast, hosts Scott Lewis and Keatts talk about SANDAG’s botched numbers and what it could mean for the future of transportation in the region.
SoccerCity Proposal Numbers and Its SDSU Problem
The investors behind the SoccerCity proposal want to turn Qualcomm Stadium and the parking lot surrounding it into a mixed-use development that includes a joint-use Major League Soccer and San Diego State football stadium, housing, an entertainment district and a big river park.
Among the plan’s detractors is Carl DeMaio, a radio host who’s been talking about how the plan would mean a measly $10,000 payment to the city for the Qualcomm Stadium site.
Lewis looked into that claim, and found that while the $10,000 number is indeed in the plan, it’s listed as the minimum amount the mayor could determine the land is worth.
Keatts and Lewis also talked about the plan with Beau Lynott, who runs Kabeer Thirty, a website covering San Diego State Aztecs football.
A big part of the discussion surrounding the proposal is focused on SDSU’s desire for a bigger stadium than the one envisioned in the plan.
“San Diego State can probably kill this if they walk away from this completely,” Lynott said.
Also on the show: Kirby Brady and Mark Cafferty of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation discuss their recent report that says SoccerCity will give the region a $2.8 billion economic boost.
Lewis also talked about his problem with news organizations that claim to be impartial and objective, and the hosts analyze a recent tiff between city attorney Mara Elliot and a few City Council members.
Hero of the Week
The city of San Diego and its auditor’s office, which earlier this year looked at traffic and pedestrian fatalities and identified the most dangerous intersections, get a nod for identifying these problem places and pledging to fix them by this summer.
Goat of the Week
Yup. Yet again, San Diego Unified School District earns the Goat of the Week dig, this time for gutting its internal audit department, a strange move for an organization that needs a good oversight arm.