Singleton and Jacob are both aware of money constraints. “Times are tough now,” says Singleton, but there might be sludge mitigation funds, Mission Bay lease revenue, and various state tourism-oriented grants available someday. In any case, the earliest this project could get under way would be four years, Singleton and Jacob agree.
Meanwhile, one monetary woe has beset Singleton’s firm. There have been so many plan changes that his firm is $150,000 in the hole on the project. Recently, the canine lovers convinced city council to see if the proposed road could be rerouted so that it doesn’t cut so much into the dog-walking area. “They [dog lovers] have held up the project for years; there have been 13 alternatives, and now there will be 14,” groans Singleton. “I am distressed at how much power dog owners have.”
The dog owners have bite. They claim that Jacob has a conflict of interest: he is a paddler. Says Jacob, “I had used Mission Bay for years even before I was a paddler.” When he took on the job as project manager, “I knew I would be vulnerable to criticism, so I have had my consultant Mike Singleton conduct all of the contacts. I have had no direct contact with the parties, to remain impartial.”
Of course, having direct contact with these combatants would be like getting in the ring between the bloodthirsty matador and the truculent bull. Better to let the consultant be in the middle.