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Will county extravaganza avoid Balboa Park mistakes?

Parks and Rec issues request for proposals for waterfront grand opening May 10.

The Balboa Park 2015 centennial celebration may be dead, at least on the grandiose scale once envisioned by ex-mayor Jerry Sanders, but his fellow Republicans on the county board of supervisors are planning to stage their own park celebration extravaganza this May.

As first reported here in February of last year, ex-Union-Tribune reporter and Sanders aide Gerry Braun along with ex-Sanders chief of staff Julie Dubick, were paid big bucks by a nonprofit operation to oversee the Balboa Park event, seen by Sanders and his backers in the chamber of commerce as a way to showcase the city's privatization efforts.

The group spent big on their salaries and consultants, but failed to line up much private sector cash, pointing the finger at Sanders successor, now fallen Democratic mayor Bob Filner, for undermining the project.

Over at the county, the Republican-majority board of supervisors have taken things into their own hands.

According to bid documents posted online by the county March 28, the grand opening of the new waterfront park at downtown's county administration center on Saturday, May 10 is set to resemble a mini world's fair, featuring a sprawling beer and wine garden, an arts and culture zone, farmers market, performance stage, food truck pavilion, wounded warriors classic car show, sports zone, and a kids area complete with Super Mega 150' Obstacle Course with Super Slide and rock climbing wall.

The eight-acre project replaces parking lots on both sides of the historic administration building. A garage under the park, as well as a $24.3 million structure nearby in Little Italy, is replacing the former lots.

"The San Diego County Parks and Recreation Department is seeking a request for quote from qualified firms ... to provide Bounce Houses, inflatables and other various outdoor games for the County Administration Center Waterfront Park Grand Opening," says one of the online notices.

In addition to the bounce house, attractions sought include: "3 Sided Rock Wall, Giant Checkers, Inflatables Basketball Double Shot, Inflatables Basketball Fast Pitch, Inflatable Soccer Goal Kick, Inflatable Football Quarterback Pass, Photo Booth with Custom Prints," and "Inflatable Golf Pro Simulator or Golf Chip Simulator."

The county is also seeking quotes on the cost of renting 110 "8’ Banquet Tables," two "30’ x 40’ Large White Tents," 1600 white folding chairs, and 45 36-inch round table tops with bases.

Plenty of Porta-Potties are in the mix.

"Delivery is expected on Friday, May 9 and pick up will be required on Saturday, May 10. Time of drop off and pick up will be coordinated through County staff."

How the celebration will pencil out won’t be known until after April 4, when the contractors’ responses are due to arrive. Meanwhile, construction costs for the park itself have been on the move.

Last October 8, according to board minutes, supervisors voted unanimously on their so-called consent agenda to approve $2 million in change orders, “to cover costs to design and install new play equipment, provide for a public art presence, and to address various site operational issues that are outside the current park project scope.”

“The total construction cost for this project, including today’s request, will be $49,400,000. There will be no change in net General Fund costs and no additional staff years.”

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The Balboa Park 2015 centennial celebration may be dead, at least on the grandiose scale once envisioned by ex-mayor Jerry Sanders, but his fellow Republicans on the county board of supervisors are planning to stage their own park celebration extravaganza this May.

As first reported here in February of last year, ex-Union-Tribune reporter and Sanders aide Gerry Braun along with ex-Sanders chief of staff Julie Dubick, were paid big bucks by a nonprofit operation to oversee the Balboa Park event, seen by Sanders and his backers in the chamber of commerce as a way to showcase the city's privatization efforts.

The group spent big on their salaries and consultants, but failed to line up much private sector cash, pointing the finger at Sanders successor, now fallen Democratic mayor Bob Filner, for undermining the project.

Over at the county, the Republican-majority board of supervisors have taken things into their own hands.

According to bid documents posted online by the county March 28, the grand opening of the new waterfront park at downtown's county administration center on Saturday, May 10 is set to resemble a mini world's fair, featuring a sprawling beer and wine garden, an arts and culture zone, farmers market, performance stage, food truck pavilion, wounded warriors classic car show, sports zone, and a kids area complete with Super Mega 150' Obstacle Course with Super Slide and rock climbing wall.

The eight-acre project replaces parking lots on both sides of the historic administration building. A garage under the park, as well as a $24.3 million structure nearby in Little Italy, is replacing the former lots.

"The San Diego County Parks and Recreation Department is seeking a request for quote from qualified firms ... to provide Bounce Houses, inflatables and other various outdoor games for the County Administration Center Waterfront Park Grand Opening," says one of the online notices.

In addition to the bounce house, attractions sought include: "3 Sided Rock Wall, Giant Checkers, Inflatables Basketball Double Shot, Inflatables Basketball Fast Pitch, Inflatable Soccer Goal Kick, Inflatable Football Quarterback Pass, Photo Booth with Custom Prints," and "Inflatable Golf Pro Simulator or Golf Chip Simulator."

The county is also seeking quotes on the cost of renting 110 "8’ Banquet Tables," two "30’ x 40’ Large White Tents," 1600 white folding chairs, and 45 36-inch round table tops with bases.

Plenty of Porta-Potties are in the mix.

"Delivery is expected on Friday, May 9 and pick up will be required on Saturday, May 10. Time of drop off and pick up will be coordinated through County staff."

How the celebration will pencil out won’t be known until after April 4, when the contractors’ responses are due to arrive. Meanwhile, construction costs for the park itself have been on the move.

Last October 8, according to board minutes, supervisors voted unanimously on their so-called consent agenda to approve $2 million in change orders, “to cover costs to design and install new play equipment, provide for a public art presence, and to address various site operational issues that are outside the current park project scope.”

“The total construction cost for this project, including today’s request, will be $49,400,000. There will be no change in net General Fund costs and no additional staff years.”

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Comments
2

Drawing looks like a big improvement over present no-man's land at the Harbor and good that opening-weekend "inflatables" will be replaced with permanent playground equipment. But underground parking at night? Will the garage have some security or will it be entirely automated, as at the ill-fated Jacobs-funded garage proposal for Balboa Park?

March 31, 2014

Great news that we will have a lovely park. Sounds like a great public project.

However, the money for the County's new Waterfront Park came from the poor and Homeless. Not from thin air.

More specific, the money for the County's Waterfront park came from the 1992 Agreement for Cooperation between the CCDC Redevelopment Agency (RDA) and the County. According to the 1992 Contract that has yet to be enforced, the funds were to go to children, seniors, mentally ill, drug and alcohol rehab, returning light felons, and the courts. To end poverty and homelessness in downtown San Diego.

www.tinyurl.com/20140127a

See Pages 18 through 24 for Unencumbered Tax Sharing Payments with the County from 1992 to 2011 totaling $25 Million. In 2011 the $25 million plus an addition $9 million was moved to the County's General Funds to pay for the project. With no net effects on the County's General Fund.

March 31, 2014

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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