San Diego voters will soon decide the fate of San Diego Unified’s latest bond ask, so our education reporter Jakob McWhinney thought it’d be a good time to dig into the archives and review how the district has spent its bond money in the past.
This is the fourth time the district’s put a bond measure before voters in just 14 years. And so far, the district has gotten its way every single time, McWhinney writes. There are a host of spending priorities and arguments for passing bond measures that have popped up repeatedly over the years, including in the latest bond proposal, Measure U. Those include the need to improve school safety and the claim that a bond wouldn’t actually increase taxes on San Diego homeowners.
Despite a number of past bond controversies, and a sizable dose of déjà vu, the district is hoping its track record – which does include nearly two hundred completed projects since Prop S passed in 2008 – will persuade voters to give them a fourth victory.
Gloria Orders Daytime Takedown of Homeless Tents
At Mayor Todd Gloria’s direction, San Diego police this week began ordering homeless residents to take down their tents during daylight hours.
The shift first revealed by NBC 7 San Diego comes amid a flood of complaints about growing homeless camps throughout the city and follows explosive comments by basketball legend Bill Walton, who deemed those camps “Gloriavilles” and called for the mayor to resign.
The policy isn’t entirely new. After a hepatitis A outbreak ravaged San Diego’s homeless population five years ago, then-Mayor Kevin Faulconer made a similar order to clear homeless camps considered ground zero of the outbreak and prevent others from building up.
Now Gloria has decided to do the same.
For now, spokespeople for Gloria and San Diego police said, officers will ask homeless residents across the city to voluntarily deconstruct their tents. They say police will not remove tents that are temporarily unoccupied and will not order residents to move outside of city clean-up operations.
Rulings Call for Continued Legal Battle Against Ex-Adviser Paid Millions
The city’s conflict-of-interest cases against ex-real estate adviser Jason Hughes, who was paid $9.4 million by the city’s former landlord for his work on its 101 Ash St. and Civic Center Plaza leases, will proceed.
San Diego Superior Court Judge Timothy Taylor in final rulings published Tuesday rejected an attempt by Hughes’ attorneys to halt the cases before trial.
Hughes’ lawyer Michael Attanasio had argued that Hughes’ statements to multiple city officials about seeking payment put the city on notice and could have triggered further investigation and a four-year statute of limitations. Attanasio had also argued Hughes – who did not have a formal contract with the city – was not covered by state conflict-of-interest law, Government Code Section 1090.
Attorneys for the city, meanwhile, argued Hughes’ statements amounted to less than full disclosure as he never directly said he had an agreement with the city’s landlord to get paid millions. They have said it didn’t learn of the payments until 2021.
Taylor ruled that disputed facts made it impossible for him to rule on the merits of the case ahead of a trial. His rulings all but ensure that jury members will get to wade through those issues early next year.
In Other 101 Ash Legal News: The Union-Tribune reports that another Superior Court judge has reversed a tentative ruling that would have allowed the city’s former landlord Cisterra Development to escape an ongoing taxpayer suit that alleged the Ash lease violated the state’s constitutional debt limit. Judge Joel Wohlfeil has ordered Cisterra to make a more detailed case on why it should be dropped from the suit. The city, meanwhile, is set to argue for a reprieve at a November hearing. Learn more about this and other ongoing 101 Ash litigation here.
In Other News
- Repairs necessary to resume Amtrak and MetroLink train service between San Diego and Los Angeles will cost $6 million and take 30 to 45 days, Times of San Diego reports.
- Fox 5 reports that vacation rental hosts are frustrated with the uncertainty surrounding the lottery to nab one of the city’s new short-term rental licenses.
- San Diego’s regional planning agency is set to receive $27 million in federal infrastructure dollars to replace a 100-year-old bridge in Oceanside, CBS 8 reports.
The Morning Report was written by Jakob McWhinney and Lisa Halverstadt. It was edited by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña.