Jeff Smith noon, March 8
EDC PR Machine Takes Credit for NY Times Fluff Piece
Here is the first paragraph of a release this morning (March 4) from the Economic Development Corp. (EDC). "San Diego Regional EDC's media relations program is gaining momentum, with a feature article in the Wednesday, March 4, 2009 issue of the New York Times." The article "highlights Quarry Falls, Liberty Station, and the Ballpark District as highly successful models for redevelopment," says the release. The Times article focuses primarily on the Quarry Falls project, but lauds the other two. The article claims that Quarry "is among the redevelopment efforts moving forward in a city that began its economic recovery under a new mayor, Jerry Sanders, in 2005. Mr. Sanders, who inherited a city in financial crisis -- its water and sewer systems deteriorating, its pensions underfunded and its municipal bond ratings low -- has overseen a turnaround that has helped restore the city's fiscal health." Huh? The water and sewer systems are still in horrible shape and the pension system is in worse shape. The article makes no mention of the CCDC and SEDC scandals, and only hints that downtown condos (particularly in the ballpark district) are a disaster -- a sea of emptiness. San Diego's "once soaring buy-and-flip office market is gone, and there is a glut of housing," concedes the article, but those are the only mentions of reality. (There is no mention that housing prices are down 40 percent from their peak.)Yes, the Economic Development Corp.'s media relations program has indeed done a fine job.