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Downtown redevelopment has survived scandals, the death of the state’s tax-funded redevelopment program and strong opposition from labor unions and others who don’t like how the city’s redevelopment agency operates.
Now a lawsuit alleging misconduct at Civic San Diego could be the thing that brings the downtown redevelopment agency down, or at least inspires major reform.
On the podcast, Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts discuss the ongoing turmoil at Civic San Diego.
None of the accusations against Civic San Diego have been proven, and Civic denies all of them. The agency is tasked with regulating private development downtown and in surrounding neighborhoods. Its mandate has been to get development deals done more quickly than city staffers.
A lawsuit filed by Murtaza Baxamusa, a former Civic San Diego board member affiliated with the county’s largest construction workers union, has unearthed a collection of concerns from four current and former Civic San Diego employees. The accusations don’t compare to the criminal behavior that plagued Civic San Diego’s predecessors, but allegations over the agency’s contracting process created enough tension at the agency that Civic president Reese Jarrett abruptly announced his retirement this week.
Also on this week’s show, VOSD invited Mayor Kevin Faulconer to roast us at a donor event last week and he delivered some brutal blows, including some slams at the podcast. And with President Trump on his way to San Diego to visit the border wall prototypes, Lewis and Keatts ask listeners to check out the Voice of San Diego Podcast Facebook group and join a discussion about which local politicians might join him.
Former Public Servant Runs for Public Office
Ken Malbrough is a retired deputy fire chief who’s running for a San Diego County Board of Supervisors seat.
In the second half of the show, Malbrough talks to Lewis and Keatts about why he entered the race.
“I’m in a community that needs changes,” he said. “I don’t think there’s enough people at the table to help make those changes and I want to be there.”
If he wins, he said he’ll push for more county participation in reducing the homeless population, building affordable housing and investing in disaster preparedness.
Hero of the Week
The hero this week is a Michael Rosenblatt, an artist who’s leading an effort to fill Lincoln Park and other neighborhoods in southeastern San Diego with murals.
Goat of the Week
The Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute gets the goat for its experimental fish breeding that has failed to help restock the ocean with white seabass, according to a new report by an independent panel of scientists.