The Morning Report
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Mayor Todd Gloria wants the state to overhaul its conservatorship process to make it easier to force vulnerable homeless people into care, a push he revealed during last week’s State of the City address.
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced he’d also like to see conservatorship reforms this year.
But what exactly do they want to do? Most details are TBD.
Lisa Halverstadt caught up with Gloria, who explained that he thinks the state law should essentially be expanded to cover homeless residents he thinks most would consider troubled who would not currently meet the bar for conservatorships meant to force people with mental health challenges into care facilities. Gloria said he doesn’t think the process should be broadly applied.
Gloria is far from the first to advocate conservatorship reforms and he’s got plenty of company with his latest policy push. He said he’s spoken to Newsom’s team and other California mayors and expects to work with stakeholders to hammer out more detailed proposals in coming weeks and months.
Related: Assemblyman Brian Maienschein just introduced legislation but it appears to have a different aim. Times of San Diego reports that his bill is intended to limit abuses in state conservatorship laws and ensure probate conservatorships are used only as a last resort.
Sheriff To Retire Early
San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore announced his retirement Wednesday, which is effective on Feb. 3, the Union-Tribune reports. He’s been in the top spot for 12 years and was not running for re-election.
Undersheriff Kelly Martinez, who is running for Gore’s job, told the U-T she would not seek appointment to the interim sheriff position. That decision falls on the County Board of Supervisors, three of whom have already endorsed her for the position in the upcoming election.
If they do pick Martinez as interim sheriff, it wouldn’t be the first time an underling was hoisted into a top law enforcement position shortly before the voters had their say. It happened to Gore and Summer Stephan, the current district attorney, before both were elected.
Martinez is running against Dave Myers, who got the San Diego County Democratic Party endorsement last month. Prominent Democrats tried to box Myers out over the summer by quickly throwing their weight behind Martinez. The two are also running against John Hemmerling, an assistant city attorney for San Diego.
One vote: Nathan Fletcher, chairman of the Board of Supervisors, released a statement saying he will call a special session in March to appoint a replacement and that he would not support appointing anyone who is running for the seat.
“The previous board of supervisors had a habit of appointing their chosen candidate for countywide offices very close to an election. I didn’t think it was right for them and it would not be right for us,” he said in the written statement. Fletcher was one of the prominent Democrats who announced their support for Martinez in the election.
He did note, however, that he’s just one of five votes on the board. The other two Democrats on the Board also support Martinez.
Meanwhile: JW August reports for Times of San Diego that the city of San Diego’s new police oversight panel, approved by voters in 2020, is facing serious delays and could take years to get off the ground. A new plan has been submitted and will be discussed on Friday.
In Other News
- The CEO of the San Diego Public Library Foundation argues that the city’s budgets do not reflect the increasing demands for parks and libraries, even though those amenities have been identified as critical infrastructure.
- Patrick Casey, an organizer of various alt-right organizations, has been subpoenaed to testify before a congressional panel on the Jan. 6 insurrection. Casey graduated from San Diego State University in 2016, as the Union-Tribune previously reported, and has focused much of his organizing around Southern California. (Politico)
- Two years into the pandemic, masks are on the way! County education officials are handing out thousands of N95s to local schools and the state says millions more will follow. (Fox 5)
- The city of San Diego and its Housing Commission have been awarded $8.3 million from the federal government to support housing during the pandemic, KUSI reports. The additional relief funds are being reallocated from other parts of the country and intended to help low-income families pay rent and utilities.
- Speaking of which, CBS 8 spoke to SDG&E customers who’ve seen spikes in their monthly bills because of a rate hike that went into effect Jan. 1.
- Residents and volunteers in Valencia Park, a neighborhood that’s rapidly gentrifying, have rediscovered and reinvigorated “secret stairs” during the pandemic. (KPBS)
- Encinitas could become the first city in the county to ban helium balloons, which return to the earth as trash and can threaten wildlife. (CBS 8)
- OK, this one isn’t news but it’s still interesting. Our buddy Howard Blackson, an urban designer, noted on Twitter that most of Balboa Park’s original buildings, spaces and bridges were modeled off Ronda, Spain.
This Morning Report was written by Will Huntsberry, Jesse Marx and Scott Lewis. It was edited by Megan Wood.