The City Council on Tuesday got a number for the value of the Qualcomm Stadium site that a group of investors would likely need to pay in order to pull off the SoccerCity plan for Mission Valley: $110 million, according to a third-party appraisal.
Now, the ball is in FS Investors’ court: “If this is indeed the mayor’s determination of fair market value the investors would have to pay, all eyes would turn to the SoccerCity team to see if they still want the deal,” write Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts.
The huge potential price tag for the land could completely flip the politics of the SoccerCity plan.
Democrats on the City Council have indicated they don’t want to call a special election for later this year. The appraisal could change their minds: “There needed to be something a Council member could point to as explanation for a change of heart. The city’s land appraisal may be that thing.”
The Mayor Has More Power Than Anyone Realized
Earlier this week, the City Council decided to not spend $5 million on a special election this fall so voters can weigh in on the SoccerCity project and boosting taxes on hotel patrons to support a convention center expansion plus a coulee other things. Mayor Faulconer plans to veto this part of the budget and restore the funding. That last part is raising a bit of a ruckus.
As our Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts report, this hasn’t happened before. Mayors have vetoed budget spending twice since the city moved to give mayors more power, but it hasn’t been clear whether they can put money back in. The city attorney, however, says this is fine, to the surprise of some city watchers.
“Faulconer’s power move reveals how little control over the budget the City Council actually has,” Lewis and Keatts write. “Yes, a Council majority can set the city’s budget, but the mayor has wide authority to disregard and modify those changes.”
• Speaking of voting, City News Service reports that “the City Council gave final approval Tuesday to municipal code changes that give the city clerk’s office the option to publish online the text of long ballot measures. The new law will affect propositions longer than 50 pages, except for amendments to the City Charter — the city’s primary governing document.”
Opinion: Cut it Out With ‘Stand and Deliver’ Already
In a VOSD commentary, a former student of Chula Vista schools who recently graduated from college has a message for “white educators”: Please, enough with the “Stand and Deliver” business.
Just quit talking about the 1988 movie, writes Adriana Heldiz: “On behalf of all students of color everywhere, please stop. It’s old, cliché and downright offensive.”
The movie has been brought up in public discussions recently by a member of the San Diego Unified school board and a South Bay teacher.
Heldiz explains: “Although I think everyone, not just Latino students, should see the movie at least once, it’s clear that you depend on the movie to calm your own nerves about teaching kids who have been labeled violent, poor or even dumb their entire lives. It’s a classic white-savior complex — the idea that you’ll swoop in and transform the lives of students of color. And by showing this movie, it confirms your students’ worst fears: that their teacher thinks less of them and defines them by the struggles they face.”
Trump: Sun, Not Mexico, Can Pay for Wall
The president met with GOP leaders Tuesday and floated an idea about the proposed border wall: at a height of 40-50 feet, it “could be covered in solar panels and the electricity generated used to pay for the cost,” Axios reports. And, Trump reportedly said, it would be “beautiful.”
“One person cautioned that the president wasn’t presenting the solar-paneled wall as the definite solution,” according to Axios.
Solar panels were included in at least one of the proposals submitted to the government for potential border wall designs.
Culture Report: Chula Vista May Ax the Arts
The leaders of Chula Vista are considering cutting a cultural arts manager position from the city budget. The news leads off this week’s VOSD Culture Report, which says there’s a dispute over whether the city can keep both the position and funding to hire more firefighters. Another 14 jobs are on the chopping block, but the City Council could nix the whole plan.
“It’s an option, but it’s an absurd one,” a councilman tells us. “I don’t think you’ll see any Council members embrace it. It really isn’t in line with what the Council wants to take place.”
Also in the Culture Report: San Diego’s own city budget restores most proposed cuts to arts funding, the airport’s rental car center is getting animated (literally), yet another play born here is Broadway-bound and the U-T has found the the “hidden treasure of Balboa Park” right there in a big space next to the zoo, the gigantic tree and the carousel. You know, hidden.
New Salon Is Full of Hot Air
Just when you thought you’d seen everything, here’s some news that will make your hair stand on end: A salon is opening up that specializes in blowouts. Yes, blow-dried hair. And this isn’t the first local Drybar salon. It’s the second.
According to the U-T, blowouts cost $45, no matter how long your hair is, for styles like “messy and beachy,” “sleek and smooth” and “lots of loose curls.”
OK, I’ll allow this because it’s giving me a nice flashback to the 1980s, the last time I touched a blow dryer. But if they start bringing back male perms, a la the dad in “The Brady Bunch,” we’re going to need to call the whole thing off pronto.
Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. He is also immediate past president of the 1,200-member American Society of Journalists and Authors (asja.org). Please contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.