Eva Knott 4:04 a.m., May 23
Sanders requests bids for Irwin Jacobs Balboa Park project under legal challenge
Qualcomm billionaire Irwin Jacobs, who has been making national news with his $2 million contribution to the re-election cause of President Barack Obama while simultaneously backing GOP city councilman Carl DeMaio's bid to become San Diego's mayor, has another reason to be happy.
Lame duck mayor Jerry Sanders, a Republican who has been financially backed by the wealthy La Jolla Democrat, is already out advertising for bids to implement Jacobs's controversial Balboa Park traffic and parking makeover, approved by the city council in July, but currently being challenged in court by a local preservation group.
According to a request for bids posted on the city's procurement website and dated September 19, the city is seeking a vendor to "Furnish the City of San Diego with Movers for the Pedestrian Trams for the Balboa Park Plaza de Panama Project."
Bidders on the project are asked to provide prices for three "power units" with "rain curtains" and nine "trailer units with rain curtains."
"Time is of the essence," the bid document says. "A delay would affect the public and the operation of the City of San Diego."
Bids are due October 11.
But barring a restraining order, a city insider says Sanders plans to proceed full speed ahead with building the project, so that if a court ever attempts to stop the huge road, traffic, and parking makeover from proceeding, it will already have become a fait accompli.
A consultant to a tax-exempt corporation set up and funded by Jacobs to develop the plan has so far paid the San Diego influence peddling firm of MJE Marketing a total of $105,000 to help Sanders and his staff lobby the project through city hall.