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New sewer lines or new stadium fro San Diego? Your choice.

Will Chargers eat up our sidewalks? Local infrastructure remains wholly inadequate.

San Diego needs more broken ankles caused by sidewalk upheavals, more expensive tire realignments and axle repairs resulting from potholes, and more sewer backups into residences.

Then San Diegans may wake up to their woeful infrastructure problem. “People want their streets fixed but aren’t that interested in anybody else’s streets,” says Norma Damashek, civic activist. “If our sewers don’t back up into our own house, we assume everything is okay.”

Andrea Tevlin

In November, Andrea Tevlin, independent budget analyst, said that the city’s infrastructure deficit is above $2 billion, more than double the level of 2012. And that doesn’t include added costs to satisfy new storm-water regulations or expenses for new infrastructure. Multiple measures to combat long-term drought and climate change are not included in that number.

Steve Erie
Effective TOT Rates chart
Chart of sales taxes in comparable cities

“If you look at road repair, water and sewer lines, basic infrastructure, $2 billion sounds like a lowball figure,” says Steve Erie, professor of political science and director emeritus of the Urban Studies and Planning Program at the University of California San Diego. In the city of San Diego, “Infrastructure will always finish last competing with convention centers and subsidized sports stadiums. This is a town that has never figured out how to do infrastructure.”

Local politicians acknowledge the neglect but don’t do much about it. On April 26, 2012, the San Diego County Grand Jury issued a report on San Diego city street repair, funding, and reforms. “There are many public outcries and complaints concerning the City of San Diego’s management of its street repair backlog,” said the grand jury, recommending a “broad-scale rethinking of repair and maintenance of this vital community asset.” In November 2011, only 10 percent of San Diego’s major streets were in good condition, said the panel, quoting a national research group.

The same research group said 50 percent of San Diego’s major thoroughfares were in poor condition — “more than twice the national average for large population areas,” said the grand jury. Importantly, it said that “a status quo service level that slowly deteriorates streets over time is not satisfactory.”

Jerry Sanders

Then–mayor Jerry Sanders agreed, although he partially disagreed with some of the grand jury’s other pronouncements.

Mike Aguirre

Michael Aguirre, who was city attorney from 2004 to 2008, several times reminded the council that city charter section 26.1 provides that it is “the obligation and responsibility of The City of San Diego to provide public works services, water services, building inspection services, public health services, park and recreation services, library services, and such other services and programs as may be desired.”

San Diego must have sufficient capital assets, and those assets, including infrastructure, must be maintained, says Aguirre, adding, “The city was not keeping track of how bad it was getting.”

He doesn’t think significant headway has been made since his time in office. “Our city is deteriorating, its infrastructure is crumbling, its roads are in worsening shape while the council watches hundreds of millions of dollars drained away into excessive pensions and doesn’t have the money to address the problem.”

Kevin Faulconer

As a candidate, mayor Kevin Faulconer noted that poor road conditions were picking motorists’ pockets. “As financial crises and unsustainable pension benefits took tax dollars away from San Diego communities, the City of San Diego developed a backlog of neighborhood repairs estimated to be as high as $3 billion,” Faulconer said. “Historically, the city kept incomplete records and did not adequately track when records were needed.”

In November of last year, Faulconer released his five-year financial outlook, and 98 percent of priority spending initiatives were for infrastructure and neighborhoods and public safety. However, recently the mayor said he wants to keep the Chargers in San Diego, and realistically, that won’t happen without the city putting up 70 to 80 percent of the money for a stadium. (Harvard urban-planning expert Judith Grant Long studied 121 sports facilities and found that when hidden costs are taken into account, on average, taxpayers pick up 78 percent of the tab.)

Unfortunately, in San Diego, infrastructure may take a backseat to subsidizing a billionaire family. “It’s very likely people will get sucked in” to a massive stadium subsidy, says Damashek. “People will consider what makes them feel good, not whether we have the money to pay for it.”

Ah, money. Independent budget analyst Tevlin says that to tackle the infrastructure problem, “It is clear that the city must find new revenue sources.” Compared to other cities, “San Diego’s fees and taxes are low.” To wit: San Diego’s sales tax is 8 percent; San Jose’s and San Francisco’s are 8.75 percent; Los Angeles’s 9.0; and Seattle’s 9.5. San Diego’s transit occupancy (hotel) tax is 12.5 percent; the Los Angeles rate is above 15 percent and San Francisco above 16. San Diego has no parking tax, but Los Angeles has one at 10 percent and San Francisco 25. San Diego has no utility users tax; many other cities have one from 1 to 11 percent. San Diego has free refuse collection; no other major California city does. San Diego’s storm-water fees are lower than those in other state cities.

Following Proposition 13, “Other California cities found new revenue sources. San Diego has not,” says Erie, lamenting the “tax averse” citizenry. The voters routinely reject bond issues. “As a result, San Diego infrastructure and public services suffer.”

Kelly Cunningham
Affordable housing chart

However, Kelly Cunningham, economist for the National University System Institute for Policy Research, doesn’t flay San Diegans for their tax aversion. In effect, “We pay taxes in another way,” he says. The cost of living is sky-high, “and the biggest cost is housing prices. Utility rates are high; it’s fortunate that we don’t have to heat or cool our homes as much as those in other cities do.” The cost of living is quite high in cities such as San Jose and San Francisco, but salaries are also inordinately high, he points out. San Diego’s household income is fairly high but not enough to catch up with the cost of living. “We have to eke out an existence,” he says.

But he concedes the infrastructure is in bad shape: “It’s obvious to anyone driving on the roads how poorly they are maintained. We have an ancient sewer system that tends to break down when it rains. It’s rare when it rains, but when it does, it’s often a huge disaster.”

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San Diego needs more broken ankles caused by sidewalk upheavals, more expensive tire realignments and axle repairs resulting from potholes, and more sewer backups into residences.

Then San Diegans may wake up to their woeful infrastructure problem. “People want their streets fixed but aren’t that interested in anybody else’s streets,” says Norma Damashek, civic activist. “If our sewers don’t back up into our own house, we assume everything is okay.”

Andrea Tevlin

In November, Andrea Tevlin, independent budget analyst, said that the city’s infrastructure deficit is above $2 billion, more than double the level of 2012. And that doesn’t include added costs to satisfy new storm-water regulations or expenses for new infrastructure. Multiple measures to combat long-term drought and climate change are not included in that number.

Steve Erie
Effective TOT Rates chart
Chart of sales taxes in comparable cities

“If you look at road repair, water and sewer lines, basic infrastructure, $2 billion sounds like a lowball figure,” says Steve Erie, professor of political science and director emeritus of the Urban Studies and Planning Program at the University of California San Diego. In the city of San Diego, “Infrastructure will always finish last competing with convention centers and subsidized sports stadiums. This is a town that has never figured out how to do infrastructure.”

Local politicians acknowledge the neglect but don’t do much about it. On April 26, 2012, the San Diego County Grand Jury issued a report on San Diego city street repair, funding, and reforms. “There are many public outcries and complaints concerning the City of San Diego’s management of its street repair backlog,” said the grand jury, recommending a “broad-scale rethinking of repair and maintenance of this vital community asset.” In November 2011, only 10 percent of San Diego’s major streets were in good condition, said the panel, quoting a national research group.

The same research group said 50 percent of San Diego’s major thoroughfares were in poor condition — “more than twice the national average for large population areas,” said the grand jury. Importantly, it said that “a status quo service level that slowly deteriorates streets over time is not satisfactory.”

Jerry Sanders

Then–mayor Jerry Sanders agreed, although he partially disagreed with some of the grand jury’s other pronouncements.

Mike Aguirre

Michael Aguirre, who was city attorney from 2004 to 2008, several times reminded the council that city charter section 26.1 provides that it is “the obligation and responsibility of The City of San Diego to provide public works services, water services, building inspection services, public health services, park and recreation services, library services, and such other services and programs as may be desired.”

San Diego must have sufficient capital assets, and those assets, including infrastructure, must be maintained, says Aguirre, adding, “The city was not keeping track of how bad it was getting.”

He doesn’t think significant headway has been made since his time in office. “Our city is deteriorating, its infrastructure is crumbling, its roads are in worsening shape while the council watches hundreds of millions of dollars drained away into excessive pensions and doesn’t have the money to address the problem.”

Kevin Faulconer

As a candidate, mayor Kevin Faulconer noted that poor road conditions were picking motorists’ pockets. “As financial crises and unsustainable pension benefits took tax dollars away from San Diego communities, the City of San Diego developed a backlog of neighborhood repairs estimated to be as high as $3 billion,” Faulconer said. “Historically, the city kept incomplete records and did not adequately track when records were needed.”

In November of last year, Faulconer released his five-year financial outlook, and 98 percent of priority spending initiatives were for infrastructure and neighborhoods and public safety. However, recently the mayor said he wants to keep the Chargers in San Diego, and realistically, that won’t happen without the city putting up 70 to 80 percent of the money for a stadium. (Harvard urban-planning expert Judith Grant Long studied 121 sports facilities and found that when hidden costs are taken into account, on average, taxpayers pick up 78 percent of the tab.)

Unfortunately, in San Diego, infrastructure may take a backseat to subsidizing a billionaire family. “It’s very likely people will get sucked in” to a massive stadium subsidy, says Damashek. “People will consider what makes them feel good, not whether we have the money to pay for it.”

Ah, money. Independent budget analyst Tevlin says that to tackle the infrastructure problem, “It is clear that the city must find new revenue sources.” Compared to other cities, “San Diego’s fees and taxes are low.” To wit: San Diego’s sales tax is 8 percent; San Jose’s and San Francisco’s are 8.75 percent; Los Angeles’s 9.0; and Seattle’s 9.5. San Diego’s transit occupancy (hotel) tax is 12.5 percent; the Los Angeles rate is above 15 percent and San Francisco above 16. San Diego has no parking tax, but Los Angeles has one at 10 percent and San Francisco 25. San Diego has no utility users tax; many other cities have one from 1 to 11 percent. San Diego has free refuse collection; no other major California city does. San Diego’s storm-water fees are lower than those in other state cities.

Following Proposition 13, “Other California cities found new revenue sources. San Diego has not,” says Erie, lamenting the “tax averse” citizenry. The voters routinely reject bond issues. “As a result, San Diego infrastructure and public services suffer.”

Kelly Cunningham
Affordable housing chart

However, Kelly Cunningham, economist for the National University System Institute for Policy Research, doesn’t flay San Diegans for their tax aversion. In effect, “We pay taxes in another way,” he says. The cost of living is sky-high, “and the biggest cost is housing prices. Utility rates are high; it’s fortunate that we don’t have to heat or cool our homes as much as those in other cities do.” The cost of living is quite high in cities such as San Jose and San Francisco, but salaries are also inordinately high, he points out. San Diego’s household income is fairly high but not enough to catch up with the cost of living. “We have to eke out an existence,” he says.

But he concedes the infrastructure is in bad shape: “It’s obvious to anyone driving on the roads how poorly they are maintained. We have an ancient sewer system that tends to break down when it rains. It’s rare when it rains, but when it does, it’s often a huge disaster.”

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Comments
107

Betting that Mayor Faulconer will proposed that SANDAG put forth another half-cent Sales Tax onto the 2016 Ballot as required under SANDAG Ordinance CO-12-01 for the Habitat Conservation Fund, already delayed for over 8 years. Most of the Amendments to the Transnet Ordinance and Expenditure Plan wer to extend the timeline SANDAG had to put forth a Regional Ballot Initiative for another half cent sales tax or similar by 2008 (4 years after 2004 passage), to 2010 (6 years), to 2012 (8 years), and now 2016 (12 years after 2004 passage).

Ordinance CO-12-01. http://www.sandag.org/index.asp?publicnoticeid=227&fuseaction=notices.detail

http://www.sandag.org/uploads/publicnoticeid/publicnoticeid_227_14173.pdf

The new multi-Billions in SANDAG funds could be used for any regional infrastructure project including the Convention Center Expansion and a new Stadium. SANDAG is our State- and Federally-mandated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for regional infrastructure and transportation projects.

SANDAG tries to say that they can only use the multi Billions in TRANSNET tax funds for only transportation and freeway projects. This is a lie.

Just like they moved the planned additional 0.5 cent tax increase required public vote back several times, the Board does have the power to change the direction of SANDAG and the funding by Amendments to the existing Transnet Extension Ordinance and Expenditure Plan projects with a 2/3 majority of both Members and weighted votes. The City of San Diego already has 40% of the weighted vote by themselves.

Both Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Council Member Todd Gloria are on SANDAG's Board of Directors.

http://www.sandiego.gov/mayor/pdf/memos/2014/memo141211.pdf

The 2004 TransNet vote gave SANDAG staff a pretend legal loophole to NOT financed new projects like CEQA-level reviews of alternative sites not analyzed in the Convention Center EIR, including contiguous waterfront location, Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal, East Village, MTS Bus Station, Qualcomm, or the Sports Arena. When of course SANDAG can authorize different projects and CEQA-level EIR reviews than was put to voter in 2004 by 2/3 approval votes of SANDAG members.

If the Board wanted they could move existing or future Transnet cash money in 2015 to neighborhood and regional infrastructure projects, local streets, storm water, potholes, beach sand replenishment, and transit; instead of the expansion of Freeways preferred by SANDAG staff.

Jan. 14, 2015

laplayaheritage: If they really thought about it, most people would oppose SANDAG's love for expanding the freeways. This strategy just brings more sprawl, as Los Angeles has proved conclusively. LA. knows the error of its ways and is now going in the other direction. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 14, 2015

The City of San Diego with its 40% Weighted vote, has Veto power over any Ballot language for 2016 which requires both a 2/3 majority vote, and a 67% Weighted vote.

The City of San Diego can write their own Laws were all the money created in San Diego stays within City limits, instead of being used for North County and South County freeways.

Jan. 14, 2015

laplayaheritage: Good point. SANDAG funds go to North County and South County freeways. Maybe that money should stay in San Diego. Certainly, the expansion of freeways only creates more residential real estate development in outlying areas. Then the freeways become clogged again, and SANDAG proposes more freeway expansion. It is an addiction. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 14, 2015

LA isn't necessarily going in the other direction--there are hundreds of millions of dollars being spent on current projects, not limited to the I-5 widening in north and south LA County, the I-10/I-605 interchange improvements, HOV lanes being added, the I-405/I-605 interchange rebuild, adding lanes on the 210 and light rail down the center. But I will give them credit--they are expanding some freeways AND adding light rail.

Jan. 14, 2015

aardvark: LA's own planners have said the city has discovered the futility of continuing to expand freeways willy-nilly, because they soon become clogged as a result of outlying development. That's why the city is going in more for transit. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 14, 2015

Don: That may be true in the future, but there are still long swaths of freeways under construction in the LA metro area.

Jan. 14, 2015

aardvark: True, but philosophically, L.A. has come to the realization that more and larger freeways create -- not alleviate -- traffic problems. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 15, 2015

Sewers, sidewalks and streets or stadiums and ferries wheels?

Is San Diego a place where over 1,400,000 live or just a couple of hundred swells?

Jan. 14, 2015

Another water main break in Little Italy this morning.

Jan. 14, 2015

MichaelValentine; For roughly six months before the ballpark vote in 1998, the U-T did not report on fire main breaks and other infrastructure breakdowns. Expect the same again. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 14, 2015

MichaelValentine: Make it stadiums, convention center expansions, and ferris wheel.

There is still talk, repeated in mainstream media, that the city, or county and city, will only put $600 million into a new stadium. That is utter nonsense. You an cadd $200 million or even $500 million to that figure, depending on the stadium configuration. The Chargers say they will put in $200 million. It's time people learned what a fraud that is. Included in that $200 million will be naming rights (possibly $100 million), advertising rights, etc. I doubt the billionaire Spanos family will actually put in $100 million in actual cash outlay. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 14, 2015

Only 600 million dollars. Or 200 to 500 million more to bring it up to 800 million to 1.1 billion dollars.

That's a little steep to watch the Chargers lose yet again. It' ain't a trillion dollars but danged if it isn't more then 10% of a trillion and that's a bunch of dough.

Jan. 14, 2015

MichaelValentine: Every cent that is put into a Chargers stadium and/or an expansion of the convention center will come out of essential infrastructure spending. When a sewer backs up into your home, you will be able to blame the Chargers and the politicians who voted to put the team in front of infrastructure upgrades. There just isn't the money for infrastructure AND stadium and convention center expansion. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 14, 2015

Giving new meaning to the Chargers stinking out the joint.

Jan. 14, 2015

MichaelValentine: I wish I had thought of that. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 14, 2015

fairies wheels for the swells.

Jan. 16, 2015

Waiting for a karmic, cosmic sinkhole to swallow up the old stadium so FOF (Friends of Faulconer) can take the rest of Mission Valley and turn it into apartments that lack sufficient parking and add to the glut and congestion there. Just a ridiculous notion to drag more into downtown but the "fans" think that's progressive and they can be prouder rabble-rousers. They get paid shit for a job if they can find one, so why wouldn't they want to feel at least Super Bowl worthy. Since only 40% of people who can vote actually do and the Democratic vote is split about 6 ways by percieved new and better Political Peace and Love Parties, Republican special interests will easily have their way with us. Democrats need to grow a pair and educate the masses; get them a stamped mail-in ballot and buy some air time in support of reformative Democratic beliefs and awareness, again united, regardless if it sounds like Socialism. See how much cash/opportunity out-of-towners are after? They call themselves job creators but are simple-minded money-grubbers. And I thought the ballot measures were supposed to be edited into straight-forward, easy for all to understand what yes or no really means, but that hasn't happened yet either.

Jan. 14, 2015

shirleyberan: Astute, that: "Republican special interests will easily have their way with us." If the people elect a mayor who wants to represent the people, the downtown group will lynch him or her and put in their own candidate. Their own candidate will do the bidding of the downtown corporate welfare group that put him or her in office. This is recent history. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 14, 2015

Don: The "recent history" pretty much lynched himself.

Jan. 14, 2015

aardvark: It was only partly self-inflicted. The main thrust was a conspiracy of those wanting to put their own people in his seat. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 14, 2015

Don: You are using an interesting choice of words. It would have been more difficult for those "other people" had Filner not "thrust" himself at those women.

Jan. 14, 2015

aardvark: Filner made mistakes -- no question about that. But the orchestrated parade of women, not city employees, coming out on cue to maximize media coverage, should have been obvious to the local media. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 15, 2015

Don: If Filner hadn't done what he did, "the parade" would have had no spectators.

Jan. 15, 2015

aardvark: Oh? The media audience hearing the complaints of all these women had no idea whether the stories they related were true. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 15, 2015

Don: Then Filner just gave up by pleading guilty.

Jan. 15, 2015

aardvark: I have said this before and I will have to say it again, I suppose. This is how justice works in San Diego: The accused is told that if he or she confesses by, say, Friday, the city will pick up all costs. If he or she does not agree to confess, the next step is his or her personal bankruptcy. That is precisely what happened to Filner. He was told he would go broke fighting the charges if he didn't confess. What would you do? This happens all the time in San Diego, and elsewhere. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 15, 2015

Don: Well, for starters, I wouldn't have done what he did.

Jan. 15, 2015

Nothing you say justifies firing Filner's staff immediately, and replacing them with developer friendly Gloria staff. After all those staff members were supposedly Filner's victims, and overthrow of the people's vote was done to protect them from dirty talk and unwanted hugs. It was a cruel joke. We can't save Filner's reputation, but we can shine a light on the criminal antics of those who replaced the honest people he hired with developer cronies.

Jan. 16, 2015

I was referring to Filner, but not his staff. Unfortunately, Filner's reputation led to the removal of his entire office staff (at least those who hadn't already quit) whether it was justified or not. If he had behaved himself, he would still be mayor today. He would not have been recalled, nor would he have needed to resign.

Jan. 16, 2015

They didn't quit, they were fired. Removing those honest people from City Government was the true purpose, not defending them from molestation. When law enforcement is engaged in law breaking, and they can convince followers to believe them, there is no defense. Since you are playing the woulda coulda game though, it's obvious that Filner's crime was election to Mayor, because we he served in City Council and Congress for years, and no one reported anything like what was finally alleged to be uncontrollable criminal habit. If they had, he wouldn't have been elected.

Jan. 17, 2015

And the Democrat Party was so desperate to get one of their own in there, they chose Filner. Poor choice, and there may not be another Democrat even electable in the foreseeable future. And what about the staff members who resigned before Filner gave up? They were fired too? I think not. Ultimately, it was Filner who was responsible for what happened. Deflect blame all you want.

Jan. 17, 2015

Psycholizard: One of Filner's mistakes was hiring some incompetents for his staff. Some turned against him -- dishonestly, in at least one case. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 18, 2015

Psycholizard: Hopefully, this light will be shone. Most San Diegans will not want to believe it. They don't want to know how rotten conspiracies are. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 18, 2015

aardvark: Not sure I know what you mean. You wouldn't have made passes at women, or you wouldn't have confessed so you could stay solvent? Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 17, 2015

Do: If he hadn't made passes at women, there would have been nothing to confess to.

Jan. 17, 2015

aardvark: But Filner's enemies were going to get him for something. From the minute he was elected, a group of conspirators planned to remove him from office. Their website went up right after the election. They settled on sexual harassment. If it hadn't been that, it would have been something else. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 18, 2015

Don: Very true, but the harassment made it very easy for the conspirators. That will always be on Filner.

Jan. 18, 2015

aardvark: It's obvious that you believe the women -- not city employees -- who were trotted out on cue to make claims. I believe the Reader was the only publication that revealed why many of these women could not be believed. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 18, 2015

Don: It's safe to say we disagree on this. I do agree with you the way they came out was suspicious, but in regards to Filner (IMO), he got what he deserved. Unfortunately, the city was spinning it's wheels for the months Filner was in office.

Jan. 18, 2015

6 PM tonight, Faulconer delivers his first State of the the City Address at the Balboa Theater downtown. Probably good for a laugh.

Jan. 14, 2015

shirleyberan: People may cry through their tears. Independent Budget Analyst Andrea Tevlin, in assessing the mayor's 5-year spending plan, commented, "The city does not have enough resources to meet all the needs of the community." And she wasn't even taking into account a football stadium, repair of Qualcomm, or convention center expansion. She was mainly looking at the infrastructure improvements that are critical.

Tevlin was also assuming the national economy will improve. But we have to realize that Europe is plunging into recession, if not deflation, along with Japan, Russia, and various oil-exporting nations. The highly-volatile behavior of the stock market in early 2015 may be a harbinger of not only a bear market, but deep global woes. Europe, Japan, and the U.S. are ballooning their money supplies frenetically but that money is not flowing into markets, as it has since early 2009. Nor is that money thwarting the deflationary threat. The U.S. housing market is being supported with extremely loose credit, and San Diego's market is already one of the nation's most overpriced. It is time for caution -- not exuberance. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 14, 2015

Don: There must be plenty of money out there--why, you can claim bankruptcy as a city yet still build a new sports arena (See: Detroit).

Jan. 14, 2015

aardvark: Yes, that decision to build a hockey arena for a Detroit billionaire at the very time the city was plunging into bankruptcy was perfectly timed for those of us who are critical of taxpayer money going to billionaires' sports facilities. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 15, 2015

shirleyberan: In his speech last night, Faulconer didn't evince the slightest bit of caution. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 15, 2015

shirleyberan: Yes, he made promises left and right -- promises that can't possibly be fulfilled. San Diego may have the money to fix some of the infrastructure problems. That's it. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 17, 2015

rational or irrational?

Jan. 16, 2015

ratter: The latter. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 17, 2015

shirleyberan: Yes, it was. He wants a Chargers stadium, convention center expansion, and updating of the sorry infrastructure. There isn't even enough money to fix the infrastructure. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 14, 2015

In 2012 a National Bridge Inventory analysis, reported by the non-profit advocacy group Transportation for America, that the Coronado Bay Bridge is "structurally deficient". By Federal Highway Admin standards there are problems with key components. Wonder what happens in a 6 or 7 quake. 78,000 cars cross each day on average. Wanna bet the words Coronado and bridge never pass his lieing lips tonight. Probably not structurally and sound together either. Hakuna Matata people.

Jan. 14, 2015

shirleyberan: I don't know if he mentioned the Coronado bridge. He did recognize that there is a big infrastructure deficit. But, after all, he ran for office on that platform. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 14, 2015

I don't like the theme that nobody knows how this happened and/or how to correct it. The city can't pay all its' bills and decided to cut infrastructure and the move has been so successful that I doubt that they every will fix the infrastructure until we declare bankruptcy. Did L.A. follow or lead.

Jan. 14, 2015

clockerbob: Wise observers know what happened. Jerry Sanders said he would eliminate the deficit. He didn't address the real problems, such as the pension deficit, but just slashed maintenance and spending on infrastructure. That's no way to balance a budget, but a lot of people fell for it. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 14, 2015

But he can remember how old the stadium is.

Jan. 14, 2015

shirleyberan: He will never mention that a stadium can last more than 100 years. The NFL and MLB think that one 20 years old is out of date. Of course, taxpayers are picking up the tab. What do the owners care? Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 14, 2015

Don: If it's maintained, it could last a long time. Problem is, this is San Diego, where the stadium is just another piece of the infrastructure that isn't properly maintained.

Jan. 14, 2015

aardvark: According to a 2011 study cited by Tevlin, an upgrade of Qualcomm would cost $80 million. That may be doable. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 15, 2015

Don: From having spent lots of time there again this season, $80 mil would be woefully short. JMO

Jan. 15, 2015

aardvark: I have others tell me that with a few exceptions, Qualcomm is in good shape. One problem is that press facilities aren't as posh as those in other stadiums. So the stadium's deficiencies get blown out of proportion. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 15, 2015

Don: I have friends who work there for Centerplate--it really is not in good shape.

Jan. 15, 2015

aardvark: But that stadium is well constructed and well designed. If there are problems, $80 million may fix them. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 15, 2015

Don: Well designed for a multi-purpose stadium (as in for baseball and football). As football is primarily played there now, the seats should be closer to the field. Without a major remodel of the stadium, that can't happen. $80 million wouldn't even come close to fixing it.

Jan. 15, 2015

aardvark: And you think spending hundreds of millions of dollars to give fans a better view for ten games a year is worth it? Please. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 17, 2015

Don: I never said that. All I said was if the city chooses to try to fix Qualcomm with a remodel, $80 mil won't come close to covering it.

Jan. 17, 2015

aardvark: One reason the fans say the place is rundown is that it needs a scoreboard in high-definition. Admittedly, that would be expensive. And for ten games a year, it isn't worth it. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 18, 2015

Don: Totally agree. And the Chargers would want so much more in a remodel of the Q that any remodel would cost hundreds of millions and the team still probably wouldn't be satisfied.

Jan. 18, 2015

aardvark: This is the bottom line: the Spanos family does not have the money to make any kind of significant contribution to a stadium. Private investors are not going to come forward. San Diego does not have the wealth that would support seat licenses, or much in the way of luxury boxes and seats in a new stadium. Most importantly, San Diego has other fish to fry: infrastructure. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 18, 2015

Don: I think back to the initial Charger Stadium plan at the Qualcomm site--the one that was to have been (allegedly) paid for in full by the Chargers, along with other private developers. Fabiani always was quick to blame Aguirre for him not approving of giving the Chargers the land they wanted (the fact that Aguirre couldn't do that because of the city charter never registered apparently in the large void that is Fabiani's head). I was always curious who all the private development partners that the Chargers had lined up for that project. I'm guessing the answer was none.

Jan. 18, 2015

don bauder A question just came to mind. Do you know who is it that actually owns the Stadium? Is it the city, perhaps the county, or maybe some sports authority created for that purpose.

Jan. 15, 2015

danfogel: The City of San Diego owns Qualcomm Stadium. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 15, 2015

They're still using the stadium in Verona--for opera.

Jan. 15, 2015

Twister: Has anyone written an opera based on Shakespeare's Two Gentlemen of Verona? Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 15, 2015

Twister: It looks like a play, not an opera, but I won't argue the point. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 17, 2015

Gee--that was a great feel-good speech. Didn't really say much, though.

Jan. 14, 2015

aardvark: What did you expect? Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 14, 2015

Don: Blue skies and rainbows, which is about what we got.

Jan. 14, 2015

aardvark: It's about as bad a State of the City speech as I have heard about. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 14, 2015

Don: I don't usually watch them, but I did tonight. At least 30 minutes of my life I will never get back.

Jan. 14, 2015

aardvark: You could have spent that 30 minutes watching re-runs of Beverly Hillbillies. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 15, 2015

Don: True--it would have been more entertaining.

Jan. 15, 2015

aardvark: Or you could have watched re-runs of Kukla Fran & Ollie. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 15, 2015

Don: Between the two, I'll take the Beverly Hillbillies.

Jan. 15, 2015

aardvark: I never saw either show, although Kukla, Fran and Ollie originated in Chicago, where I spent my youth. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 15, 2015

See Page 45 of the draft FY-2014 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) linked below. Qualcomm Stadium is 166 Acres in size. 84 acres to the north is owned by the City of San Diego's General Fund. The remaining 82 acres towards the San Diego River is owned by the Water Utility Department. The City is trying to steal Qualcomm Stadium from taxpayers, and exchange Water Utility Department's 82 acres, for equivalent space anywhere. This would allow the City to bypass the required public vote to sell or change exceptionally large City properties greater than 80 acres in size

http://tinyurl.com/20140630

Search for the word " Qualcomm " in the document where the City of San Diego somehow failed to renew the annual $15 dollar Master Lease to Qualcomm Stadium the Water Utilities Department Enterprise Fund for the last 10 years [2005 - 2015]. In 1965 a Regional County-wide Joint Powers Authority (JPA) was created between the San Diego Stadium Authority (SDSA), the City of San Diego, the County of San Diego, and the Water Utilities Department.

To solve the problem of not paying immaterial lease payments, the City of San Diego's General Fund (GF) can pay the Water Utilities Department $150 dollars immediately. Problem solved. Or the City could reduce the annual fee to $1 dollar, for a total of $15 dollar to the Water Department. The lease agreement is between the City itself. Half the Qualcomm Stadium building footprint is owned by the City's General Fund. The other southern half is owned by the Water Utilities Department.

Page 45 of the FY-2014 CAFR documents the latest SanDiego Long Con, where Mayor Kevin Faulconer and the City Council are going to try to steal our public lands greater than 80 acres without a public vote of the people as required under City Charter Section 221.

"Management is currently examining options to either enter into a new, market value lease of the Water Utilities parcel or to exchange the Water Utility Department parcel for a General Fund parcel of similar value."

http://tinyurl.com/20100123

http://docs.sandiego.gov/citycharter/Article%20XIV.pdf

"Section 221: Sale of Real Property.

Real property owned by The City of San Diego consisting of eighty (80) contiguous acres or more, whether or not in separate parcels, shall not be sold or exchanged unless such sale or exchange shall have first been authorized by ordinance of the Council and thereafter ratified by the electors of The City of San Diego. The foregoing shall not apply to the sale or exchange of real property to a governmental agency for bona fide governmental purposes which sale or exchange was duly authorized by ordinance of the Council, nor shall it apply to properties previously authorized for disposition by the electors of The City of San Diego."

The City's new City Charter Review Committee plans on erasing and deleted City Charter Section 221, so they can steal our public property for private gain, based upon a ruse.

Jan. 14, 2015

la playa heritage: That is important information. That is the San Diego mantra: privatization of the gain and socialization of the risk. Adam Smith is spinning in his crypt. Capitalism is supposed to involve risk. Not anymore. Taxpayers pick up the risk. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 14, 2015

Indeed Don, "New sewer lines or new stadium?" is the greatest question so far in this new century..

The non-existent Balboa Park 2015 Centennial Celebration is a perfect example of the total failure of San Diego government in the 21st century, nothing is happening except that our Puppet-Mayor just promised a new stadium and to hell with public safety and infrastructure.

It is now apparent, especially because of your continuously excellent investigative reporting Don, that what Pope Doug demands is a statue of himself (bigger than El-Cid) roaring around Balboa Park on a Ben-Hur Chariot every hour with trumpets blasting our eardrums to proclaim his total control over San Diego and We The People can go to hell thrown under his chariot wheels.

Jan. 15, 2015

Anon92107: I would not be surprised if Papa Doug wants a conspicuous statue of himself downtown. But if so, why is he willing to discuss turning the paper over to Malin Burnham? Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 15, 2015

Don: obviously I've been out of touch for awhile, I didn't know the Burnham deal was that serious.

Does Malin like chariots, does he really give a damn about San Diego instead of continuing to bankrupt us for a football stadium?

Does the deal include control over the City Council with his own Pontius Pilate throne room to view the games while removed from the masses like Pope Doug?

After far too many decades of corrupt U-T publishers, can we trust any owner who will really fight for We The People and future generations?

Jan. 15, 2015

Anon92107: The U-T's chant is: All people are equal. But the rich are more equal than others. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 15, 2015

Thanks Don, that explains that some things never change, as you keep telling us, and why our newest Mayor is just another puppet to those like Manchester.

So we get a new stadium instead of new sewer lines and infrastructure fixes. The republicans hate to spend money on infrastructure across the U.S. so never drive on a bridge while travelling in the U.S. and don't drink the water in San Diego.

Jan. 16, 2015

Anon92107: Don't drink the water unless you think it is so polluted that it's a good substitute for hemlock. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 17, 2015

Interesting you bring up hemlock Don, being a fan of Socrates I have often wondered what he would do if he came back today to see what has happened to the world since BC Athens, and he has even more reason to drink the hemlock today because all of our institutions have failed to honor truth and morality.

Today, Republicans are like terrorists attacking people who practice the Golden Rule, much worse than oligarchs and sophists in his day.

Jan. 19, 2015

Neither A Borrower Nor A Lender Be.

Jan. 15, 2015

shirleyberan: Shakespeare said it. But Elizabethan times preceded our current economy, which is based on debt, by many centuries. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 15, 2015

Re: Don Bauder Jan. 14, 2015 @ 10:16 p.m.

shirleyberan: I don't know if he mentioned the Coronado bridge. He did recognize that there is a big infrastructure deficit. But, after all, he ran for office on that platform. Best, Don Bauder

Has anybody inspected that platform for structural integrity?

Jan. 16, 2015

Twister: Good idea. I wish I had thought of that line. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 17, 2015

Re: Anon92107 Jan. 16, 2015 @ 3:03 a.m.

"Thanks Don, that explains that some things never change, as you keep telling us, and why our newest Mayor is just another puppet to those like Manchester."

If only we were French. We'd mass in the crumbling streets until they were fixed. But they won't be, because we can't recognize window-dressing when we see it.

Jan. 16, 2015

Twister: The elections of both Fllner and Faulconer indicate clearly that the people want infrastructure brought up to date. But will it be? You know how San Diego operates. Only certain people -- the ones with money -- get what they want. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 17, 2015

shirleyberan Jan. 15, 2015 @ 11:38 a.m.

"Neither A Borrower Nor A Lender Be."

Neither a manipulator nor a manipulatee be.

Jan. 16, 2015

Twister: Manipulatee? Even Shakespeare never thought of coining that one. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 17, 2015

Re: Don Bauder Jan. 15, 2015 @ 8:28 p.m.

"aardvark: I never saw either show, although Kukla, Fran and Ollie originated in Chicago, where I spent my youth. Best, Don Bauder"

Let's put on a PLAY! "Two Gentlemen of Chicago--Studs Terkel and Don Bauder"

What IS it about Chicago?

I guess we should stop whining about Mayor Mush--we had a "choice," Kukla or Ollie. Mas o menos. Or should we riot against ourselves by allowing ourselves to be media-manipulated . . .

Jan. 16, 2015

Twister: Studs Terkel achieved a certain measure of renown. I didn't. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 17, 2015

" shirleyberan Jan. 14, 2015 @ 4:39 p.m.

"In 2012 a National Bridge Inventory analysis, reported by the non-profit advocacy group Transportation for America, that the Coronado Bay Bridge is "structurally deficient".

If I recall correctly, the CBB was built from both ends which didn't meet in the middle. I wonder how "they" fixed it? Please correct me if this is wrong.

Jan. 16, 2015

Twister: Both ends met in the middle when I drove over it. I can't speak for anybody else. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 17, 2015

" Don Bauder Jan. 14, 2015 @ 11:33 a.m.

"MichaelValentine; For roughly six months before the ballpark vote in 1998, the U-T did not report on fire main breaks and other infrastructure breakdowns. Expect the same again. Best, Don Bauder"

Following the North Park Fire about 25 years ago, the City quietly put in an additional water "main" to serve North Park, as fire trucks sucked the main dry such that additional fire trucks had no water. As far as I know, non of the other south-rim communities (Mission Hills, Hillcrest, University Heights, Kensington, Talmadge, College area, and the parts of North Park that didn't burn, did not get additional water "mains."

Jan. 16, 2015

Twister: Somebody important must have lived in North Park -- somebody with clout. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 17, 2015

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