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Mayor Kevin Faulconer has decided to press forward with a controversial plan to transform a former indoor skydiving center into a service hub for homeless San Diegans.
Lisa Halverstadt reports that the City Council is set to vote Tuesday on key agreements necessary to move the project forward despite a hail of concerns from critics including City Councilman Chris Ward, who represents downtown and helms the city’s homelessness committee.
City officials said Thursday they see the project as a central piece of a broader plan they’ve sketched out to try to better coordinate homeless outreach and case management, and give homeless San Diegans easier access to workers focused on helping them navigate an often overwhelming path to housing.
But Ward and others aren’t convinced the project can solve the lack of affordable housing they see as the prime roadblock to reducing homelessness in San Diego, and believe it will just create another bottleneck.
- Faulconer’s chief of staff Aimee Faucett is hitting back at the Union-Tribune’s suggestion that the mayor is a lame duck following the results of Tuesday’s election. Faucett told Halverstadt the mayor is still planning to cut deals and has a long list of things he’d like to accomplish.
Billions Going to Local School Construction
It turns out that school bonds to fund construction are popular among voters.
On Tuesday, San Diego voters approved 10 or the 11 school bond measures on county ballots, writes VOSD’s Will Huntsberry in his latest Learning Curve.
Since construction bonds are easier to pass than parcel taxes, which could go towards things like paying for more teachers, the result has been that school districts have prioritized school construction over education-focused initiatives that could lead to better outcomes for students.
Sweetwater Finances Salvaged, for Now
Several weeks ago, we broke the news that Sweetwater Union High School District was in an urgent financial crisis. It had been warned it’d be facing a budget mess if it didn’t cut costs but it handed out raises across the board. Its central office staffing numbers ballooned even as student enrollment dropped. Now, the district has made some cuts and the U-T reports the district “has received approval of its newly revised budget from the San Diego County Office of Education.”
The district had overestimated its revenues and underestimated its costs for the current year.
- Ammar Campa-Najjar sent out a statement Thursday saying he’s not prepared to concede just yet. “Election officials in San Diego and Riverside County are reporting that hundreds of thousands of ballots remain to be counted,” Campa Najjar said. “Regardless of party, we all agree it’s important for every vote to be counted. The integrity of our elections are paramount, so we’re going to respect the process and allow it to continue.”
- Not much changed in Thursday’s batch of election updates from the registrar. In Escondido, Mayor Sam Abed increased his lead slightly. Vivian Moreno is still ahead in her bid for a City Council seat, and her boss, Councilman David Alvarez, still has a slight edge in his quest for a seat on the San Diego Community College board.
In Non-Election News
- San Ysidro School District won’t release a copy of its settlement with former superintendent Manuel Paul, who was involved in a pay-to-play scheme across three school districts in South Bay. (Union-Tribune)
- San Diego businesses in low-income or high-minority areas are less likely to get bank loans. (KPBS)
- San Diego County’s Health and Human Services Agency announced it hired former county supervisor candidate Omar Passons to work on homelessness and affordable housing.
- Assemblywoman Marie Waldron of Escondido will become the new Assembly Republican leader. (Los Angeles Times)
The Morning Report was written by Maya Srikrishnan, and edited by Sara Libby.