In March 2020, 65 percent of city voters backed a hotel-room tax increase to fund a Convention Center expansion, homeless services and road repairs.
The question of whether it passed has been up for debate ever since. Tax hikes for special purposes have long required a two-thirds vote in California, but a wave of court rulings have suggested only a simple majority is required for citizen initiatives.
Measure C supporters got good news Friday: The state Court of Appeal ruled that Measure C was approved with a simple majority.
The catch: Our Lisa Halverstadt reports that the city’s collection of increased hotel-room taxes isn’t imminent. That’s because the court decided it couldn’t definitely rule on whether one Convention Center Corp. board member got too involved in the measure, which could suggest it wasn’t a true citizens initiative.
An attorney representing the Measure C backers and a Sacramento-based election attorney told Halverstadt proponents are likely to ultimately prevail.
The other side: Alliance San Diego and its allies had argued the vote required two-thirds support from voters because that’s what the city told voters it required. Executive Director Andrea Guerrero called the Friday ruling a “tragic decision” that threatened the integrity of city elections.
Politics Report: What’s Going to Happen Tuesday
Tomorrow is the last day to vote in the special election for the seat vacated by former County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher.
Our Scott Lewis got some polling numbers in the race for the Politics Report. It showed City Councilwoman Monica Montgomery Steppe in first, Amy Reichert in second and Janessa Goldbeck in third. But as he explains, a lot is undecided and things are moving.
He also explains how a new state law is having an impact on candidates.
Plus: Why last week’s Measure C ruling gave a local political consultant déjà vu.
A Downtown Skyline Without the Union-Tribune
In the latest Cup of Chisme, our Andrea Lopez-Villafaña reveals that the San Diego Union-Tribune’s new owners are interested in getting out of the newspaper’s downtown lease.
The Union-Tribune signed a $40 million, 15-year lease at 600 B Street in 2016. It has eight years left on the lease. But sources confirmed that the new owners told employees that they would work remotely only — and had until the end of July to collect their belongings from the building.
Lopez-Villafaña reflects on one day not having the paper’s name lighting up downtown’s skyline.
VOSD Podcast: On the latest VOSD Podcast, Voice of San Diego environment reporter MacKenzie Elmer joined hosts Scott Lewis and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña to dish on some of the drama that’s been bubbling up in the water world this year.
Elmer also shares some compost tips. And Lopez-Villafaña explains why a nonprofit that once boosted businesses in southeastern San Diego is out.
In Other News
- Baja California’s attorney general abruptly resigned last week citing personal reasons, though he was less than two years into a six-year term. As the lead prosecutor in the Mexican state, Ricardo Iván Carpio led the investigation into multiple assassinations of Mexican journalists last year. (Union-Tribune)
- A San Diego judge dropped a case against a 60-year-old woman experiencing homelessness who was initially arrested by police after she allegedly refused shelter and refused to remove her belongings from a site on Sports Arena Boulevard. (KPBS)
- A former motel in Barrio Logan opened as a new family shelter Friday. (KPBS)
The Morning Report was written by Lisa Halverstadt, Andrea Lopez-Villafaña and MacKenzie Elmer. It was edited by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña.