A meeting of the San Diego Unified school board / Photo by Jamie Scott Lytle

Local school bond measures are a popular tool to drum up funds to renovate, fix and expand public school facilities. San Diego Unified hopes voters will approve a new bond in November, but the $3.5 billion price tag is not the only number to consider, as Ashly McGlone lays out in a new story. The new tax up for voter consideration is actually closer to $7.5 billion.

If approved, the new bond would add a $60 per $100,000 of assessed home value tax for 39 years, on top of two existing taxes for multibillion-dollar bonds approved earlier this decade. Old bond debt currently costs the district $230 million a year.

There’s still $2 billion left for projects from those old measures, not including the debt payments with interest that will eventually be piled on.

Some school facility projects promised in the new bond proposal, like plumbing, were already promised as part of earlier bond measures.

Regardless of whether the new bond passes, there is much more Props. S and Z project money and debt to come. The district plans to sell the remaining $2 billion in Props. S and Z bonds from 2019 to 2031.

Studies Suggest Zero Tolerance Isn’t Effective

The Trump administration’s zero tolerance immigrant policy requiring the government to prosecute all illegal border crossings was meant to serve as a deterrent to those considering making the trek to the United States.

As Maya Srikrishnan writes in the Border Report, two recent studies question the efficacy of that policy, which resulted in thousands of children being separated from their parents.

Also in our biweekly roundup of border news: a federal judge in San Diego considers the fate of parents deemed “ineligible” for reunification, independent monitors will look into allegations of migrant child abuse and more.

Short-Term Rental Lords Launch First Counter Attack

Opponents and supporters of vacation rentals voice their concerns at a San Diego City Council meeting. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

An attorney for Share San Diego, HomeAway, and Airbnb fired off a letter to the San Diego City Council Monday claiming the Council violated the City Charter and the Brown Act when it approved restrictive vacation rental rules earlier this month.

The letter argues that the Council made so many substantial changes to the proposed legislation that it should have to vote again. The city clerk is allowed to make minimal changes to a proposed ordinance. But substantial changes require the Council to hold another hearing so residents can weigh in on what’s proposed exactly.

City staff had prepared an ordinance that would have allowed residents to rent out their own homes to visitors and they, and anyone, could rent out one other home. The ordinance had also provided an exemption for Mission Beach, which the mayor offered to slightly tweak before the meeting. But the Council disregarded both of those principles, vastly restricting short-term rentals across the city. Residents are only allowed to rent out their own homes to visitors for up to six months.

Potential legal challenges is one of the many unknowns now as the city gears up for a major crackdown on vacation rentals.

U-T Calls on Cano to Resign

Calls for the resignation of National City Councilman Jerry Cano are growing.

The Union-Tribune’s editorial board is the latest to advocate for Cano’s ouster after he retracted harassment allegations against a female Council member who sought an investigation into Cano’s history of building code violations at his home. An attorney told the City Council Cano indicated the touching he originally alleged didn’t actually happen. Cano didn’t cooperate in the housing probe, which found no evidence he used his position to avoid city fines, but didn’t explain why fines weren’t levied.

“Cano’s despicable, petty revenge goes far beyond politics as normal and should not be accepted. He has to go,” the U-T board writes.

The San Diego Free Press on Monday echoed the criticism and labeled Cano a “deplorable.”

Previously, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, who represents National City and other communities, called for Cano to step down, tweeting, “When an elected official misuses the #metoo movement to accuse his rival of inappropriately touching him (that’s sexual assault not harassment) then he should resign.”

Cano has been in hot water before. Back in 2016, a local small market owner claimed Cano visited their store to suggest campaign contributions to his re-election bid could help get their alcohol permit approved. Cano denied the allegation.

Ballot Watch

On Monday, the City Council approved putting the following measures on the November ballot:

  • A proposal to reinstate a disability retirement benefit for police officers who, according to a staff report, “suffer a nervous or mental disorder as a result of a violent attack causing great bodily harm”
  • A proposal to implement San Diego Unified School District board term limits
  • Two proposals to redevelop the former Charges stadium and surrounding Mission Valley area – SoccerCity and SDSU West – were placed on the ballot via a unanimous vote with Councilman Chris Cate absent.
  • A proposal to clarify the type of information that needs to be disclosed by business interests contracting with the city. In 2016, inewsource shed light on a major loophole in a 1992 transparency law.
  • A proposal to clarify how long Council members can serve
  • A package of compensation reforms for elected San Diego officials
  • A proposal to drop the requirement from the city charter that when a public member of the city’s audit committee applies for reappointment there be at least two candidates to consider

And the City Council declined to put a proposal on the ballot to start discussions about creating a new, independent oversight commission on police practices.

By Aug. 7, the City Council will vote on putting three more measures on the November ballot, including Councilman David Alvarez’s proposal to increase city hotel taxes by 1 percent and ask voters to advise whether the Council should use the new cash for homelessness programs.

  • U-T columnist Logan Jenkins predicts the city’s stadium lease negotiations with San Diego State University will play heavily into the debate over SoccerCity and SDSU West, the dueling plans for the Mission Valley Stadium site: “The subsidy-seeking Aztecs will be conflated with the cheapskate Chargers. All that will be missing is a ticket guarantee,” he writes.

In Other News

  • Councilwoman Georgette Gomez talked about her proposal, up for consideration Tuesday, to tamp down on the discrimination Section 8 housing voucher-holders face when trying to rent. (KPBS)
  • A Superior Court judge ruled Monday that San Diego City Councilwoman Lorie Zapf can seek a third term in office, reports the Union-Tribune. Bryan Pease, who ran a campaign against Zapf but finished third in the primary, filed the challenge, and told the U-T that he will appeal the decision.
  • United Food and Commercial Workers Local 135 president Mickey Kasparian, who recently settled a multitude of civil lawsuits alleging sexual harassment, suspended vice president Todd Walters for alleged improper conduct last week, reports the Union-Tribune. This week, Walters said he’s running for Kasparian’s job and called the suspension retaliation for his criticism of the handling of the sexual-harassment complaints.
  • inewsource breaks down the latest fundraising cash flowing into the five local congressional races, including the battle to replace Rep. Darrell Issa and Rep. Duncan Hunter’s effort to defend his seat while under investigation for past campaign expenses.
  • Concerns over extreme heat will shut down several county parks in August near Lakeside, Ramona, Valley Center and Pala.
  • Fires sparked in San Pasqual and Fallbrook last Friday and Saturday were mostly contained Monday. (10News)
  • KPBS looks at the California implications of a recent study by the nonpartisan National Bureau of Economic Research linking high housing costs to dwindling birth rates for those who don’t own homes. Pressure on those between the ages of 25 and 35 “to meet most of life’s expectations,” like launching a career, paying off student loans, meeting a partner and paying big for a home is a lot. Adding kids, “Now you’re asking too much. Something has to go. And what gets put off and delayed is the kids,” and that’s bad news, says an urban planning professor. “Those kids are important for all of us because they are our future taxpayers and homebuyers.”

The Morning Report was written by Ashly McGlone and Kinsee Morlan, and edited by Sara Libby.

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