Jeff Smith 4 p.m., March 30
- Community Blog
My meeting with the 2 young men from Kevin Faulconer's office was interesting and productive. It is good to have a face to put with the voice or e-mail! I was surprised by the first question; are we speaking with you as a constituent or as a journalist? I had not thought about that aspect of this meeting. We agreed that the designation was moot unless there were specific requests to be "off the record" and I will not reveal names unless it is necessary for the story.
We discussed the issue of problems with the homeless which is a difficult one. The 10 year plan is somewhat behind schedule as they are just now seeking proposals. The problem is complex as there are a myriad of reasons for the homeless being homeless!!
There are no short term solutions and the usual providers (Father Joe, Salvation Army & several homeless help groups) are at their limit due to the large increase in numbers of homeless in San Diego.
The talk turned to the ongoing construction downtown and one person's opinion that America's Finest City will have a turnaround and the 2000 or so condos will sell. I disagree and I wish someone would just stop the building. Unfortunately they did not have information regarding the current number of owner occupied units. With the rental market of far too few units, we need to have affordable housing available downtown. The numbers exist somewhere and Mr. Faulconer's office will see what they can find. Such as, what is the status of affordable units, where are they, and what are the qualifications? The median income level needs to be revised as I am sure it is now less than the reported $43,000+. They will also see what information is available on the "in lieu of" fee made available to developers to get around providing affordable housing units in every project.
As to the issue of noise, it is difficult to strike a balance between local residents and the "night clubs" which bring in added revenue. I will continue my research and forward any suggestions to Mr. Faulconer's office. I hope to walk around downtown and actually discern the decibel level pouring out from several venues. I have a few articles on the deleterious effect of noise on human beings.
I was awakened at 2:30 AM (this morning) by several young men who found it necessary to scream at one of their 'posse' as he apparently was not ready to go wherever they were headed. They were obnoxious and then were joined by a female whose high pitched ranting hurt my ears. Right now I am listening to a 'yapper' dog, barking at some apparition.
Bottom line: the Quality of Life for downtown residents is far from what it should/could be. The above mentioned issues have existed and been simmering on the back burner for several years, with little or no action by our City Council. I'm sure all of the districts have similar problems, but downtown streets are 'home' to the vast majority of homeless. The economic climate has resulted in an increase in the population and the usual charities are stretched to their limits. While I realize that things move very SLOWLY, the homeless issue needs to be a high priority.
I want to publicly thank the 2 gentlemen from Mr. Faulconer's office who took the time to meet with me and have a civilized conversation about a few of the problems facing our City.