• Scam Diego alerts

Attorney Janathan Allen, wife of Escondido council candidate Richard Barron, sent a letter today (Oct. 30) to Mayor Lori Holt Pfeiler, complaining that the council may have violated the Brown Act, which favors public accessibility to political meetings. Barron today filed a demand letter under the Brown Act directed at the Escondido city council and city attorney, pointing out "apparently illegal conduct." Barron says the council unanimously approved entering into an option to purchase agreement with the Moorad Group, part owner of the Padres, to purchase three acres at North Spruce St. for $5 million. But, says spouse Jan Allen, "Three of the five council members...disavowed any knowledge" of the deal. There had been open and closed meetings on the purchase. Several Escondido leaders want the financially ailing city to subsidize the AAA subsidiary of the Padres, owned by the Moorad Group, to the tune of $50 million. A ballpark for the minor league club would attract industry, they contend.

Dick Daniels, mayor pro tem who is running for mayor Tuesday, says, "This is a political stunt." He says that at the meetings at which the deal was discussed, the city attorney was in attendance, and sometimes the redevelopment attorney was there. On Nov. 30, Escondido decides whether to go ahead with the building of the ballpark for Moorad. If the subsidy is approved, the city would pick up the parcel. If the ballpark is not approved, Escondido may go ahead and buy the parcel anyway. "We were in the presence of legal counsel at all times. There is no reason to believe we weren't under the Brown Act."

  • Scam Diego alerts

Comments

SurfPuppy619 Oct. 30, 2010 @ 9:37 p.m.

Several Escondido leaders want the financially ailing city to subsidize the AAA subsidiary of the Padres, owned by the Moorad Group, to the tune of $50 million. A ballpark for the minor league club would attract industry, they contend.

Why do these clowns, already under severe financial constraints including bankruptcy, continue on with these ridiculous corprate welfare give aways-it just does not make ANY sense at all EXCEPT if the officials are receving kickbacks, and kickbacks is the only explanation in my book.

And the complete and total nonsense that this would bring in business is ridiculous. Any business it brought in would be offset by 1,000 to 1 in building expenses. How do such stupid people get elected??? Bribes!

0

Don Bauder Oct. 31, 2010 @ 6:42 a.m.

Response to post #1: There is no doubt that Escondido can't afford this. Also, there are many other things, particularly infrastructure, that $50 million could be spent on. As you say, stadiums and ballparks (even in the majors) don't generate economic development; economists who aren't in some team's or league's pocket are almost unanimous on that. Why doesn't Escondido just spend the money on development per se and forget the minor league team? This is a team that couldn't make it in Portland, Oregon, the nation's 23rd largest market with more than 2.2 million people, and the largest AAA market. Why would the team succeed in a market a fraction of that size with the parent team only a freeway trip away? Best, Don Bauder

0

Don Bauder Oct. 31, 2010 @ 6:50 a.m.

Response to post #2: Councilmember Marie Waldron said at one session, "in all the years that I've....worked for the city, when I've been on the council, I don't think I've ever seen us buy property, especially to the tune of five million dollars, without an appraisal. I thought that was absolutely a requirement that we have an appraisal in front of us....I'm concerned about the lack of information...and why this is up in price...we don't even have that money." Best, Don Bauder

0

Visduh Oct. 31, 2010 @ 9:01 a.m.

Escondido has done things over the years that were supposed to bring it to a level of affluence and prosperity that would rival the coastal cities in No County. In the early 80's it gave away a large piece of parkland (part of Kit Carson Park) to the developer of the regional mall first known as North County Fair. (It was, I think, the last such mall built in the county.) The developer cabal managed to convince the city's residents that they were "missing out" in not having the many stores it brought to the area. At first, it got a Nordstrom, Robinson's, Broadway, Penney's (moved from downtown Esco), Sears (moved from central Esco), and a May Company. Of course, with all the combining of chains in the intervening years, a number of those are gone, and the space is still vacant or underutilized. But rather than making Escondido prosperous, it killed the downtown, which had been a vibrant, bustling place.

More recently, Westfield, which now operates that mall, was talking up a plan to refurbish it. Then it backed away from that. Westfield is reluctant to sink many millions into that center because it now thinks that more stores and sales would not come, regardless of how spiffy the place looks.

The next move was the Center for the Arts, which has been struggling ever since it opened in the early-to-mid-90's. It was presented to the residents as a way to take the city big time. In other words, put the trappings of affluence in place, and the money will follow! Obviously that didn't work.

So, what is there about a ballpark, for pity's sake, that is any different? Once again, the residents may be conned into thinking that adding another trapping of prosperity will make the city prosperous. The bitter truth is that Escondido is a poorer city now than it was a quarter-century ago. Its center is packed with poor, unskilled, non-English speaking immigrants.

Escondido cannot afford such an extravagance. If it wants to find the key to prosperity it needs to become business-friendly, and make itself a regional center of economic activity.

0

SurfPuppy619 Oct. 31, 2010 @ 9:37 a.m.

In the early 80's it gave away a large piece of parkland (part of Kit Carson Park) to the developer of the regional mall first known as North County Fair. (It was, I think, the last such mall built in the county.) The developer cabal managed to convince the city's residents that they were "missing out" in not having the many stores it brought to the area

Ernie Hahn developed North County Fair, and in the 80's and 90's it was a very nice place-I have not been inside in over 20 years though, is Nordstroms still there?

Malls have really been going down hill though. Mission Valley was a ghost town until they put in those movie theaters, Fashion Valley was always nice and when they re-did it with the second floor it was even nicer.

0

Don Bauder Oct. 31, 2010 @ 1:30 p.m.

Response to post #5: The arts centers in Escondido and El Cajon are both tragedies. I went to the East County center many times. Acoustics were wonderful. I blame citizens of East County. Here were all those SDSU faculty members (not to mention some students) nearby and they simply didn't turn out. The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra played there regularly. Full symphony orchestras, including Seattle's, played there. But East Countians shunned it. Best, Don Bauder

0

Don Bauder Oct. 31, 2010 @ 1:32 p.m.

Response to post #6: And those malls were subsidized with taxpayer money. Whatever happened to free enterprise, anyway? Best, Don Bauder

0

Visduh Oct. 31, 2010 @ 2:26 p.m.

California cities unabashedly court retail development because of the sales tax revenue it brings in. The various cities grab for the retail dollars spent by their own residents and those spent by residents of nearby areas. All for the sales tax, forget the cost of hosting all that retail activity. But once a city has established the value of retail malls to its revenue stream it is a short step to deciding to go beyond encouragement and move into subsidizing the center developers. And so they do, often massively so. A retailer who doesn't get some sort of help from the host city is a fool.

0

Don Bauder Oct. 31, 2010 @ 2:40 p.m.

Response to post #9: It's a fool's game. A similar one on a larger scale is states and cities subsidizing corporations that relocate. The company says it will go to the highest bidder, in most cases. Cities rush in with huge gift packages. The company builds a factory and promises to stay 20 years. But because the municipality has spent so much on landing the company, schools deteriorate, infrastructure lags, the city rots. The company learns it can't find employees to go there because of the lousy education and services. So after 20 years, who is the first to pack up and leave? Why, the company that took the subsidy in the first place. Best, Don Bauder

0

SurfPuppy619 Oct. 31, 2010 @ 6:31 p.m.

California cities unabashedly court retail development because of the sales tax revenue it brings in..... A retailer who doesn't get some sort of help from the host city is a fool.

By Visduh

The biggest problem with going after the retail sales tax is that local gov's almost always give away property tax revenue to induce the stores to locate in their jurisdiction, many times for several decades-as in 25-50 years.

Donald Trump, when asked if he was ripping off the resdients of NY by asking for 25 years of tax abatment on one of his buildings infamously, said he should have asked for 50 years of tax waivers instead of 25.

When you add up how much money is lost from proiperty tax, and how much is gained from sales tax and usually minimum wage jobs, the spread is a net loss by a wide margin.

0

Don Bauder Oct. 31, 2010 @ 9:52 p.m.

Response to post #11: Tucson has been mentioned as a possibility, even if only for a year. Is the Moorad group playing Escondido against Tucson? Could be. Best, Don Bauder

0

Don Bauder Oct. 31, 2010 @ 9:56 p.m.

Response to post #12: Trump trumpets himself as a dedicated capitalist but he is obviously a corporate socialist. Actually, the way some interpret U.S. laws, a company could be sued by shareholders if it does not get the biggest subsidies it can wangle. If only those Tea Partiers knew what REALLY goes on. Best, Don Bauder

0

David Dodd Nov. 1, 2010 @ 1:40 a.m.

Re #17: I agree, I can't think of a Padres AAA affiliate that played in Yuma. Spring training, obviously, but it wouldn't make sense otherwise, Yuma isn't exactly market-worthy of a AAA team.

0

Ponzi Nov. 1, 2010 @ 7:50 a.m.

They don’t want an appraisal because a full professional report will include a “highest and best use” designation.

That perceptibly won’t be a ballpark.

0

SurfPuppy619 Nov. 1, 2010 @ 8:18 a.m.

When I was a kid,I used to go out to Yuma for Padres spring training but I think that's it. I don't remember any Padres affiated teams based in Yuma

Oppsss...yes, Padres spring training was the Yuma connection.

Yuma does have nice baseball facilities though-if you have ever been out there, just south of Smuckers Park.

0

Don Bauder Nov. 1, 2010 @ 11:54 a.m.

Response to post #16: Moorad may simply be giving himself an out, yes -- Tucson if Escondido doesn't come through. Tucson should be a much better market than Escondido, so maybe a permanent deal there would be best for Moorad. Best, Don Bauder

0

Don Bauder Nov. 1, 2010 @ 11:58 a.m.

Response to post #17: I don't recall that the Padres had a AAA team in Yuma. Yes, they had spring training there for many years. Best, Don Bauder

0

Don Bauder Nov. 1, 2010 @ noon

Response to post #18: I certainly wouldn't want to play in or watch a Yuma game in the summertime. Best, Don Bauder

0

Don Bauder Nov. 1, 2010 @ 12:01 p.m.

Response to post #19: Obviously, minor league baseball wouldn't be the highest and best use. Best, Don Bauder

0

Don Bauder Nov. 1, 2010 @ 12:03 p.m.

Response to post #20: Now that the Padres don't use it for spring training, who is using that good park? Best, Don Bauder

0

Don Bauder Nov. 1, 2010 @ 9:26 p.m.

Response to post #26: Winter is a good time for a Yuma team to play. The population balloons. Best, Don Bauder

0

Don Bauder Nov. 2, 2010 @ 7:18 a.m.

Response to post #28: Yes, according to most recent data I have (a couple of years old), the 70,000 snow birds that arrive in winter almost double the Yuma population. Best, Don Bauder

0

Founder Nov. 2, 2010 @ 12:21 p.m.

The Brown Act is very specific, and I'm glad that Attorney Janathan Allen filled the complaint!

Buying any land without direction from the entire Board IS backdoor Dealing and especially without an appraisal!

This reminds me of the Mayor deciding to do the Guacamole Bowl $tadium DEAL without any CCDC notice...

Escondido now stands to get the deal overturned and probably pay a fine because some of them figured "THEY" ran Escondido instead of the citizens of Escondido!

Here is the Brown Act "training" that is used in SD, which I'm sure also applies to Escondido: http://www.sandiego.gov/planning/community/pdf/cow/brownactppt.pdf

0

Don Bauder Nov. 2, 2010 @ 4:11 p.m.

Response to post #30: I agree: there is not much difference between the attempt to railroad the Escondido AAA baseball subsidy through without a vote of the people and the late-night, highly-secret scam pulled by the mayor and his cronies to lay the groundwork for a $600 million subsidy to the Chargers that the insolvent City can't afford in a million years. Best, Don Bauder

0

Founder Nov. 2, 2010 @ 6:54 p.m.

Reply #31 You, as usual, are correct; in fact, since Escondido is much smaller they BOTH are probably of similar magnitude of $CAM! At least one Brown Act seems to be violated in Escondido and who knows with that, perhaps someone will do the same thing in SD to CCDC and Mayor $ANDER$.

With that in mind, do you think that both were part of a larger $PORT$ deal for our area to inspire Sports fans to fall for the Prop D (for Dumb) tax increase which would then become the "WAY" that our entire County's Cost of living will be increased from now on?

0

Don Bauder Nov. 3, 2010 @ 7:40 a.m.

Response to post #32: I'm sure that sports moguls, particularly the Spanos family, gave money to Prop. D, perhaps secretly. After all, Prop. D was nothing more than a stalking horse for a $600 million gift to the Chargers. Best, Don Bauder

0

Sign in to comment

Join our
newsletter list

Enter to win $25 at Broken Yolk Cafe

Each newsletter subscription
means another chance to win!

Close