Garrett Harris 2:03 p.m., May 24
Padres lose but are on pace for the race to finish without losing 100 games this season. Lofty goals!!
So, the officials (City Council, mayor and several agencies) are now talking about a complete new Civic Center complex. Talk about lofty goals. It is being touted as beneficial to the citizenry, in the long term. The current estimated cost of $1.1 billion will definitely go up. The savings to the City will be Long Term. The entire civic center complex is in the plans for redevelopment.
There is no doubt the Civic Center is in need of overhauling. There are many problems at the current site and many City employees are being housed in other downtown buildings. The "savings" factor includes the leased space for about 1500 city employees. Leases expire in 2013. The online information does not contain any mention of the losses to the other buildings involved. The positive spin also fails to mention where the current "residents" of City Hall will spend their time during the building process. The real issue here is timing and priorities. Mayor Sanders is "threatening" water use restrictions:
A 5.7 percent reduction is simply not enough to avoid water restrictions in the future,” he said. “All of us need to do more.” Sanders said .
Is the City doing their share? Shouldn't sidewalk washing, street cleaning, water fountains, etc. be cut back? My laundry is much more important to me than having a clean sidewalk. How about using brooms instead of water?
The bottom line is, now is not the time to talk about more building. The economy is taking a dump and the City should be taking the lead in cutting back, not more spending. In fact, the City may consider trying to renogotiate some of those leases. Maybe they could get better deals. How about using some of the hundreds of unsold, unoccupied condos in all those new buildings downtown?