Every few years one or more people bring up things that could be done to enhance the waterfront of the bay. Max Schmidt did it 40 years ago. He railed against walling off the bay. Did it do any good? No. I guess there was too much money to be made. Take a great environmental opportunity, the bay, and screw everything up just to make money.

As for Rob Quigley and the library, I made up my mind long ago that a main downtown library didn’t make sense. Sure, it’s a great monument to our political leaders. Most people who live outside Centre City will not commute to use it. So, does it make sense to spend a huge amount of money on a main library? Or should that money have been used in smaller, outlying, community-based libraries? Of course, that’s not Rob’s problem. He moves on making a commission and having his name bandied about in architectural publications. Good on you, Rob. Rob says, “If the Port reneges on the commitment to go forward with our [winning design], the city will never touch the water.” I think this says it all: the Port is in control. The governing body, in this case the Port District, is in a quandary. It doesn’t know what to do. So, it will probably look to Manchester and others who might make a buck, and that’s the direction that will be taken.

Al Mercer
via email

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Letter to the Editor Dec. 31, 2012 @ 9:17 a.m.

"Uniting the Country" was a rather strange title to the letter commenting about my 12/13 letter (voting demographics per Don Bauder). After reading this letter and reviewing my letter, I must conclude that both were inappropriate. Each focused on generalities without mentioning pertinent specifics.

To begin with, I want to make it clear that I had no intention to imply that the Democrats are angels, as they have made mistakes. To begin with, President Lyndon Johnson's decision to go to war in Vietnam leads the list of Democratic blunders. Others include Representative William J. Jefferson's stashing bribery money in his freezer.

On the other hand, let's consider George W. Bush's decision to invade Iraq based upon false information that he presented to Congress. About 3,500 Americans were killed and 35,000 were wounded. Over 100,000 Iraqis were killed. Bush started 2 wars and simultaneously reduced taxes. At the same time, he also suppressed financial regulation. Could these acts have had anything to do with the Great Recession?

In light of the above, the Republicans continue to try to link Democrats to spending excesses, while the facts seem to point to the Republicans as big spenders. In San Diego, Republican Mayor Jerry Sanders, portrayed himself as a fiscal conservative. During his term in office he spent as follows: 1) Helped build a new central library for $180 Mil that very few residents will ever use. 2) Attempted to rebuild City Hall for $300 Mil when much less expensive alternatives were available.

3) Attempted to divert $500 Mil in redevelopment funds to the Chargers. 4) Succeeded in allocating over $100 Mil in City funds for the Convention Center expansion. Note that the economic value of this expansion is debatable.

Upon leaving office, Jerry Sanders has claimed that he will be leaving the people of San Diego with a surplus. I leave you with a comparison of Jerry Sanders' projections compared to the projections supplied by the City of San Diego Independent Budget Analyst (IBA).

             Jerry Sanders    San Diego IBA
             --------------   -----------------    
FY 2014      $4.9 m surplus   ($84.2 m) deficit  
FY 2016     $32.2 m surplus   ($75.8 m) deficit
FY 2018     $94.2 m surplus   ($43.1 m) deficit

Ron Harris, Scripps Ranch

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