Deep inside the Filner transition

This article highlights some of the issues faced by Mayor Filner as the first Mayor taking place under the City's Strong Mayor system transition within the short time frame. It also highlights some of the issues surrounding Balboa Park and the Institutions, including the Old Globe, that have wealthy individuals such as Dr. Jacobs, Harvey White, and other major donors sitting on the Boards of the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership members occupying City Owned buildings within the Public Park. San Diego EarthFair has respected the Park during its FREE to the Public activities. The large crowds attracted by their annual EarthFair create a one day nuisance for the institutions that they can overcome by shutting it down. Unfortunately for them, no matter how much they resent Free Tuesdays for County residents and Free Admission during December Nights, they cannot overcome these contractual requirements. The exception has been the Hall of Champions, which in the past has not complied at times because of their sponsorship of December Nights without impunity. It is no secret that the efforts of San Diego EarthFair to work with the Institutions in making the day one of Public Outreach for them have been rebuffed. The Institutions and their management would much rather control the Park through the Balboa Park Committee, as the Community Planning Group for the Park, and deny the Special Events permit. What a loss to the general Public that attends EarthFair and experiences the FREE aspects of Balboa Park if the Special Events permit is denied. This organization takes great pride in having its large volunteer force leave the Park in better shape than they find it. If the City permitted it, those volunteers would probably love to be put to work in addressing some of the issues facing the Park. The Plaza de Panama Committee Project funded by Dr. Jacobs and championed by Mayor Sanders and the City Council majority over the objections of the Historical Resources Board chose to ignore the Environmental Impact Report's unmitigable impact upon the National Historic Landmark District within Balboa Park. This initiated a legal challenge by SOHO to protect the Landmark District. That action has its first court hearing on February 1, with the Plaza de Panama Committee funded by Dr. Jacobs ready to remove over 10,000 truckloads of living earth from the Heart of the Park at its first opportunity. Their project plans have been posted and San Diego EarthFair is prepared to work within the restrictions, should the City prevail and move forward. I encourage Mayor Filner and his administration to quickly move forward in approving the Special Event permit for San Diego EarthFair.
— November 30, 2012 11:47 a.m.

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