trash pick up san diego
A city of San Diego sanitation worker collects yard waste in a residential area in North Park on Dec. 23, 2021. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

In a nail-biting turn of events, supporters of repealing the city of San Diego’s century-old law requiring the city pick up the check for trash collection at most single-family homes have won the battle.

A move once considered unimaginable in San Diego politics — removing the guarantee that the city would not charge a special fee for trash service on city streets — has now happened as supporters of Measure B gained a 50.36 percent majority on Thursday. With few votes remaining, and a nearly 3,000 vote margin, it’s now certain to pass.

Voice of San Diego talked with victors about what happens now. The law had been that anyone who could get their trash to a city maintained street could enjoy the service for no fee. That meant, in effect, that many people who lived in apartments and condos had to pay monthly fees to private haulers while people who lived in single-family homes did not.

Now, after conducting a study to determine the fee it can charge to pay for the service, the city will implement a new fee, which could generate an estimated $50 million per year for the city. As we imagined several weeks ago, that money probably won’t mean other city services will benefit much from the new resources. A lot of the money will be needed to implement a state requirement that municipalities recycle food waste from residents separate from other refuse.

Read the full story here. 

Voice of San Diego members: We’ll talk about election outcomes and what the results mean for San Diego moving forward at our next member coffee on Dec. 7 in University Heights. Bring your questions because you’ll have a chance to chat with Voice reporters and get to know our staff. RSVP here for free.

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Civil Trials Against Hughes Expected to Proceed – Later

The state Court of Appeal on Thursday denied ex-city real estate adviser Jason Hughes’ requests to overturn two recent Superior Court rulings allowing the city’s conflict-of-interest cases against him to proceed.

But the Superior Court trials in those cases were delayed Thursday. That move came after a dispute over whether the city must provide a second witness to detail the story behind city attorneys’ May letter alleging that the city’s former chief operating officer ordered city information technology staff to purge records tied to the 101 Ash St. debacle.

Superior Court Judge Timothy Taylor agreed to postpone the conflict-of-interest trials until April to allow the lawyers time to resolve the discovery dispute in court.

In Other News 

  • San Diego emergency response officials have repeatedly raised concerns that the city’s new ambulance provider, Falck, is not meeting its service and response goals. Fire Chief Colin Stowell told members of the City Council’s public safety committee on Wednesday that the city needs to make changes. What those changes could be is not entirely clear yet. (Union-Tribune) 
  • The Union-Tribune also reports that the city of Encinitas is getting license plate readers. It’s a proposal brought to the council by the county Sheriff’s Department, which now plans to install seven cameras on major roads in Encinitas. 
  • inewsource reports that the Sweetwater Authority is hitting the pause button on its free fishing program at Loveland Reservoir because it needs to remove water from the lake to serve water customers. 

The Morning Report was written by MacKenzie Elmer, Lisa Halverstadt and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña. It was edited by Scott Lewis. 

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