Cesar Tellez and his girlfriend Melissa Begay in the alley near their home they rented in the neighborhood of Mountain View on Thursday, April 20, 2023.
Cesar Tellez and his girlfriend Melissa Begay in the alley near the home they rented in the neighborhood of Mountain View on Thursday, April 20, 2023. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

Early next week, the San Diego City Council is set to hear a proposal from Council President Sean Elo-Rivera and Mayor Todd Gloria to step up tenant protections in the city.

What they seem unlikely to hear are many enthusiastic arguments why it should be approved as is.

Jesse Marx and Lisa Halverstadt checked in with landlord and tenant advocates this week and learned they aren’t thrilled with the proposal. There’s already lots of talk about amendments, an indirect litigation threat from two former city attorneys and even a ballot measure.

Gloria and Elo-Rivera, meanwhile, emphasize that the proposed ordinance isn’t a silver bullet and represents a careful balancing act of the city’s various housing interests.

Read the full story.

Chula Vista Is Finally Opening Its Homeless Shelter

Chula Vista is set to open its first homeless shelter next month. 

The emergency bridge shelter between 27th Street and Broadway will begin accepting clients on May 15, city staff said Thursday at a special City Council meeting. But, first there will be a ribbon cutting on May 11.

This was the first time we’ve gotten an update on the shelter’s opening date, which officials had previously said would be in early 2022, then fall 2022, and then Mayor John McCann told our Lisa Halverstadt that it would open January 2023. 

At the meeting on Thursday, McCann said he was constantly asked when it would open. 

“I know sometimes I’ve gotten a little ahead before the supply chain issues, and I’d say it was gonna open February of this year and so I’m finally glad that we actually have a date that we are going to open it up,” McCann said. 

According to the city’s groundbreaking announcement in July 2022, it would take three to five days to build the pre-fabricated pallet homes once the property was ready. Staff explained that it did take them a “tiny bit” to open it, but that there were obstacles because of Covid. 

Staff played a drone video of the built units, community rooms and case manager offices. The rooms were recently furnished by IKEA. That was one of the last steps to get the shelter up and running, staff said. 

With Fletcher Gone, MTS Fails to Select New Leader 

San Diego Councilman Stephen Whitburn at an MTS board meeting Thursday, April 20, 2023. Whitburn is currently acting chair of the board. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

Attempts to install a new leader at the Metropolitan Transit System failed twice Thursday as the agency prepares to investigate its own role in sexual harassment allegations against the former chair, Nathan Fletcher. 

That means the acting chair, San Diego City Councilman Stephen Whitburn, will continue to serve as its temporary leader until next month, when the board will try to take another vote. Whoever serves as MTS’ new chair will lead the agency through an investigation into claims made by former employee Grecia Figueroa, who sued the agency and Fletcher claiming her firing was retaliatory.

Whitburn, who promised to push for an independent investigation, came up one vote short of the 10 votes he needed to secure the chair role. His City Council colleagues – Councilmembers Vivian Moreno, Sean Elo-Rivera and Moncia Montgomery Steppe – instead backed La Mesa City Councilwoman Patricia Dillard, who is relatively new to politics and the board. 

Councilwoman Vivian Moreno, Mayor Todd Gloria’s alternate on the board, evoked the need for “stable new leadership” in the face of alleged misconduct by Fletcher. 

“She represents the sort of diversity that MTS so badly needs right now,” Moreno said. 

But Dillard and Stephen Goble, the third chair candidate and an El Cajon City Councilman, managed to secure only five votes during the first round of voting. When the first vote failed  board members re-nominated the same three candidates for a second vote, which delivered the same result. 

“The value of providing new leadership positions MTS much better to regain the trust that Nathan broke,” Elo Rivera said in his support of Dillard. 

If Gloria supports Whitburn, he could attend the next MTS meeting instead of Moreno and cast the deciding vote on his behalf. 

In Other News 

  • The Housing Commission is eyeing three Extended Stay hotels that it hopes to convert into supportive housing for unhoused residents using state Homekey funds. Commissioners voted Thursday to execute a purchase and sale agreement and begin due diligence on three hotels in Mission Valley and Kearny Mesa that could supply 412 units of permanent supportive housing. As we’ve reported recently, San Diego is desperately in need of more supportive housing to house its homeless residents amid a “resource desert.”
  • The city of San Diego is selling far fewer short-term rental licenses than its self-imposed cap allows. The City Council expected much higher demand when it passed these regulations two years ago, setting that cap at 6,501. It’s issued 4,586 as of April 12. Note: This one is only for subscribers. (Union-Tribune)
  • Police say crime in the city of San Diego dropped by 7.5 percent over last year. There were marked drops in offenses like theft, rape, murder and burglaries. But robbery, typically defined as theft committed with the presence of a weapon or other violence, climbed 18 percent. Car theft also rose by 2.6 percent. (ABC 10)
  • The Port of San Diego inherited 8,000 acres of new waterway previously held in trust by the California State Lands Commission. That could create room for longer piers, more places for boats to anchor or perhaps new water taxi transportation as well as conservation. (Union-Tribune)
  • A darker sky granted by a new moon and forecasted clear skies have set the stage for a spectacular viewing of the annual Lyrid meteor shower this weekend. The shower reaches its peak early Sunday. (Union-Tribune)

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

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1 Comment

  1. Big deal, The current board failed to elect Whitburn to be chair, but next month Mayor Todd will show up to take over his seat and will cast the deciding vote to put Whitburn in the chairman’s seat.

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