People staying in front of the California Theatre lean against a fence erected on C Street, directly in front of an open entrance to the building on Aug. 10, 2022. / Photo by Jakob McWhinney
People staying in front of the California Theatre lean against a fence erected on C Street, directly in front of an open entrance to the building on Aug. 10, 2022. / Photo by Jakob McWhinney

The California Theatre has long been a blighted, decaying downtown eyesore.

Now, following word that yet another owner wants to abandon its plan to redevelop the site, Mayor Todd Gloria’s administration is demanding that they make plans to demolish it.

Lisa Halverstadt and Jakob McWhinney reveal that the city recently ordered the owner to submit a plan to tear down the building now plagued by trespassers and vandalism by last Friday. That day came and went. The city says most safety concerns it’s raised also haven’t been addressed, a reality that Gloria said led him to refer the situation to City Attorney Mara Elliott’s Nuisance Abatement Unit for potential prosecution.

Yet it’s unclear what exactly might happen next – or who will be calling the shots.

An Australia-based receiver that recently took over the property after Caydon Property Group liquidated pledged in a statement to work with the city and others to “improve the safety, security and general amenity of the property in the near term.”

Meanwhile, a Gloria spokeswoman said a brokerage firm promoting the property has told the city a potential buyer is now conducting due diligence.

Read the full story here.

Oceanside May Set Stricter Requirements for the City Treasurer Position

The Oceanside City Council on Wednesday took the first step toward possibly setting a higher bar for the elected city treasurer position.

Oceanside currently doesn’t have any additional requirements for the position beyond the general standards set forth by the state.

The city is in the middle of an internal investigation into claims made against City Treasurer Victor Roy, who, when first elected in 2018, garnered criticism for not having any professional financial experience.

Though some agree that the position should have an educational and professional requirement, others argue that most elected city positions do not.

Read the full story here.

Fast food workers and union organizers march outside Jack in the Box headquarters in Kearny Mesa and chant, “When working families are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!” on June 9, 2022. / Photo by Joe Orellana for Voice of San Diego

A Day of Legislative Reckoning

The appropriations committees in both the California Senate and Assembly considered the fate of hundreds of bills Thursday in the dreaded “suspense file.” If you’re not familiar with this legislative hurdle, CapRadio produced a good explainer last year.

In short: it’s where a handful of lawmakers decide very quickly and without any public discussion which pieces of legislation move forward and which don’t.

One of the bills we’re tracking made it through and one didn’t.

SB 1105 is dead. It was authored by state Sen. Ben Hueso and championed at the local level by Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer. And as Scott Lewis and Andy Keatts noted recently in the Politics Report, the bill would have created a new public agency to focus on low-income housing across San Diego County with the authority to put tax measures on the ballot. The San Diego Housing Federation, a trade group made up of low-income housing developers, was opposed to its passage.

AB 257, on the other hand, came out of the appropriations vote unscathed. That bill was introduced by Lorena Gonzalez before she left the Assembly. It goes next to the Senate floor and if approved will establish a fast-food sector council within the Department of Industrial Relations to promulgate minimum standards on wages, working conditions and training. Lawmakers, however, would reserve the right to modify or prevent any proposals from taking effect.

In June, Jesse Marx reported that organizing in the fast-food industry is notoriously difficult, so unions view the bill as an opportunity to give workers a stronger voice at the state level. Among other things, the bill would make companies like the San Diego-based Jack in the Box liable for any workplace violations that occur inside the business that bears their name.

In Other News 

The Morning Report was written by Lisa Halverstadt, Tigist Layne, Jesse Marx and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña. 

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