A view of the Colorado River as it flows through northern Arizona
A view of the Colorado River as it flows through northern Arizona / Image via Shutterstock

San Diego’s proposal to build its own $5 billion pipeline to the Colorado River and bypass paying Los Angeles for water is now in a state of the undead –technically lifeless unless local water officials choose to revive it again.

The whole point of San Diego building its own pipeline is so it wouldn’t have to pay Los Angeles to use theirs, a decades-long source of legal contention. 

Our environment reporter MacKenzie Elmer reports that a San Diego County Water Authority official confirmed they’ve hit pause on the project in hopes the two historically warring parties can come to a settlement on the latest round of litigation over pipeline fees.

Critics wondered why San Diego would want to spend billions on a project that wouldn’t bring any new water to the region and make the region reliant on the drought-stricken water source. But proponents are hungry for San Diego to be able to control all of its own water costs. 

Read the story here.

To Appoint or Not to Appoint, That Is the SANDAG Question 

File photo by Vito Di Stefano

The Chula Vista City Council will decide Tuesday night who to appoint to represent the city at the San Diego Association of Governments, where the city’s large population gives it the second-most say on regional transportation policy.

Republican Mayor John McCann has said he wants the seat, but Democrats hold a majority on the council and leadership from the local Democratic Party has said it is pushing to put a Democrat in the seat.

As politics on the SANDAG board have grown increasingly contentious in recent years, with conservative board members working against transit- and climate-oriented priorities from the agency’s CEO, the same has happened with council decisions on who to send to the board. In the past, appointments were quiet affairs that typically resulted in mayors representing their cities.

Earlier this year, the Republican majority on the Escondido City Council rejected Democratic former Mayor Paul McNamara’s attempt to appoint himself to the seat. The city went months without a representative. As our Tigist Layne reported last week, the City of Vista couldn’t agree on who to appoint to SANDAG, so it didn’t appoint anyone. 

Related: National City’s Council appointed Councilwoman Luz Molina as the city’s representative on SANDAG. Mayor Ron Morrison, a conservative, nominated Councilwoman Ditas Yamane as the representative, but the Council rejected his appointees and chose Molina instead. And the Imperial Beach City Council appointed Councilman Jack Fisher as the city’s rep on SANDAG Monday night.

In Other News 

  • San Diego officials are exploring a variety of new ways to create new revenue for the city. Options include more parking meters, a business tax on rental cars, higher parking citation fines and parking fees for non-residents who park at San Diego’s beaches, Balboa Park and Mission Bay Park. A study by an independent analyst revealed that more parking meters and parking fees for non-residents were the most feasible options. (Union-Tribune)
  • El Cajon officials are considering penalizing owners of hotels and motels for constantly calling first responders. The plan comes after a dispute between city leaders and county officials about how many hotel vouchers should be given to homeless people. By penalizing hotel owners for calling the police or paramedics, the city is hoping to discourage hotel owners from accepting so many vouchers. (Union-Tribune)
  • Court filings for new evictions in San Diego County hit a five-year high in October with nearly 1,150 new cases, according to the County Superior Court. The majority of the new eviction cases involved households that may have qualified for Covid-related rent relief, including the eviction moratorium, which expired Sept. 30. (KPBS)
  • In a new profile by the Union-Tribune, a migrant shelter that started with a group of volunteers is now a model for other nonprofits at the border. The San Diego Rapid Response Network Migrant Shelter, run by Jewish Family Service, helps asylum seekers who have been released into the U.S. It recently welcomed its 100,000th guest. (Union-Tribune)
  • To reduce fire risk, San Diego is airlifting invasive palm trees out of Ruffin Canyon. The project, led by San Diego Canyonlands, aims to remove invasive plant species that cause a fire risk and harm to the native habitat. 

The Morning Report was written by MacKenzie Elmer, Andrew Keatts, Andrea Lopez-Villafaña and Tigist Layne. It was edited by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña.

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