But it wasn’t always this way. In 1868, Alonzo Horton set aside land for a public park. Retailer-philanthropist George Marston championed long-range planning in the early part of the 20th Century. Business leaders including Ulysses S. Grant Jr. planned the 1915 Panama-California Exposition that created the design and feel of Balboa Park on the acreage that Horton had set aside. Voters approved a large bond sale.
Now, with privatization the rage, Balboa Park is the subject of another either/or framing exercise: “ You want a private facility or nothing,” says Kogan.
From the outsourcing fad to the financing of Petco Park to the commercialization of biotech advances supported with government money, San Diego is characterized by these seldom-acknowledged words: “privatization of the gain and socialization of the risk.”
This book has numerous charts and graphs by which the reader can see how little San Diego spends on vital services such as police, fire, and streets and roads, compared with other California cities, and how comparatively little the citizens pay in taxes. San Diegans complain about potholes, but voter apathy guarantees that they will get deeper and more numerous while the money that would fix them goes into a few pockets.