Robert Bush 11:18 p.m., May 25
Mayor Filner, City Council and City Attorney Goldsmith to discuss Tourism Marketing District during closed session meeting
Meeting to discuss lawsuit brought on by government activist which challenges the validity of the TMD
Mayor Bob Filner and City Attorney Jan Goldsmith will square off once again over the fate of the controversial Toursim Marketing District. This meeting won't be in front of the cameras, it will be behind closed doors during a closed session meeting of the City Council.
During the meeting San Diego's elected officials will decide how to proceed with two court cases, one from Mel Shapiro and the other filed by San Diegans for Open Government. Both challenge the validity of San Diego's Tourism Marketing District.
The most recent extension was approved by the largest hoteliers on November 26th, 2012, one day before former Mayor Jerry Sanders signed off on the agreement. According to a document from the City Clerk's office, out of the 1,379 ballots sent out, only 355 were returned. Of those 355, 127 approved the two percent assessment on hotel guests while 218 voted against it. The contract was approved due to the fact that the vote is weighted by the size of the hotels. By that math, the vote passed 94 percent to six percent.
After the vote, Sanders signed a last minute extension before leaving office on the hotel two percent surcharge on hotel guests, good for 39 and one half years.
On February 15, the City of San Diego filed a motion in court to consolidate the two cases. San Diego Tourism Marketing District Corporation, the non-profit that manages the assessment, supported the motion.
The City now finds itself in the strange predicament of having to defend the validity of the Tourism Marketing District in one case while simultaneously having to defend the Mayor's decision to not sign the 40-year extension of the tax.
The City is expected to appear in court on March 29 on the cases filed by Shapiro and San Diegans for Open Government.
For court documents click here:
See Matt Potter's ongoing coverage of the Tourism Marketing District:
And see some of the donations from the largest hoteliers made to city councilmembers since 2008: