Robert Bush 6:31 p.m., May 18
City to change payment structure for a new parking garage in Balboa Park
As the attorney for San Diegans for Open Government put it earlier this week, issuing $17.4 million worth of bonds to pay for a new parking garage in Balboa Park is a "total scam."
In his October 2 letter to city councilmembers, attorney Cory Briggs argued that the joint agreement comprised of the City and the Redevelopment Agency cannot issue bonds for the mere fact that there is no longer a redevelopment agency to speak of after lawmakers in Sacramento dissolved them by passing Assembly Bill 26.
And while the City Attorney's office definitely wouldn't agree with Briggs' description of the financing plan, they do believe the attorney has a point. So much so that, according to a city spokesperson, the City "will be amending the [Joint Powers Authority] agreement to remove the former [Redevelopment Agency]" sometime in November.
The change, however, is no easy task.
In a memo from March of this year on the "validity of the Public Facilities Financing Authority," City Attorney Jan Goldsmith wrote: "Creating a new joint powers financing authority would require substantial rewrites to the legal documents and the adoption of a new financing ordinance."
The memo goes on to say: "It is reasonable to conclude that, under [Assembly Bill 26], [the Public Facilities Financing Authority] remains a viable legal entity and retains the power to issue bonds on behalf of the City. This legal conclusion is not without doubt and there are potential alternatives to the issuance of bonds by the [financing authority]."
City council's decision to approve the bonds combined with plans to reconfigure the Public Facilities Financing Authority is just another example of the City's push to proceed on the controversial Plaza de Panama project.