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The California Supreme Court today (Dec. 29) gave a knockout punch to redevelopment agencies in a long-awaited decision. The court also knocked out a compromise measure that would have permitted agencies to continue operating if they shared some revenues with schools and special districts. "The court gave the worst preferred outcome for the redevelopment agencies," says Vlad Kogan, PhD candidate in political science at the University of California San Diego. The agencies wanted to knock down both the law abolishing agencies and the compromise measure. The court said the compromise measure was not constitutional.

Unless the state passes some measure that would bypass the court's decision, San Diego County should at least initially be spared two potentially bankruptcy-inducing projects: the massive subsidization of a downtown stadium for the Chargers and a AAA baseball park for Escondido. "It's not clear how much wiggle room the state has" to overturn the decision, says Kogan.

Christopher Sutton, Pasadena attorney and longtime foe of redevelopment, exults, "This is a grand slam home run." The court's decision, more than 80 pages,"is a great textbook on what has gone wrong in the state. I am extremely happy, but I am worried that the legislature will try to pull the rug out from under this in some manner. The governor will be the dike against the flood. This gives him what he wanted in January."

Mike Aguirre, former city attorney, says the decision reverses decades of ugly, greedy history. "When you look over the long, tortured path of redevelopment law, it started as a worthy goal [after World War II], but was hijacked by concentrated corporate power players and turned into a money machine for them. It builds houses that nobody can afford [despite the mandate to create affordable housing]. Redevelopment was to create prosperity for the inner city and it has been used to create great profits for those who are well-heeled."

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InOmbra Dec. 29, 2011 @ 11:54 a.m.

yes!!! Aguirre said it perfectly. "Affordable" housing my a**.

If you pay close attention, the so-called affordable units downtown and in North Park targeted a demographic that was not low income.


Don Bauder Dec. 29, 2011 @ 12:19 p.m.

Absolutely. Coronado, where the average home is worth $1 million, is officially blighted. Downtown is not blighted but San Diego's leaders want to use redevelopment money there; the rotting neighborhoods get screwed. Best, Don Bauder


dwbat Dec. 29, 2011 @ 12:46 p.m.

"Coronado, where the average home is worth $1 million, is officially blighted."

Yes, the last time I went over to Coronado, it was just like visiting the South Bronx slums in the 1970s. Scary place!


Don Bauder Dec. 29, 2011 @ 1:27 p.m.

Some even richer California cities have the blighted designation. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Dec. 29, 2011 @ 12:26 p.m.

LIARS COMPLAIN. The court's decision "completely eliminates redevelopment agencies and undermines our ability TO INVEST IN ECONOMICALLY DISTRESSED NEIGHBORHOODS [emphasis mine]," says Carl DeMaio, councilmember and mayoral candidate. This is a joke. Redevelopment money is spent downtown where there is no blight. Distressed neighborhoods have been neglected for decades. Indeed, the kidnapping of redevelopment by the superrich is one of the arguments used by opponents of redevelopment.

Mayor Jerry Sanders, speaking in advance of the court's decision, also made the preposterous statement that if redevelopment agencies were eliminated, rundown neighborhoods would suffer. Such nonsense! Both Sanders and DeMaio know they are spewing lies, but they are massaging their constituencies -- the superrich who have kidnapped the redevelopment concept to build downtown subsidized structures. Best, Don Bauder


SurfPuppy619 Dec. 29, 2011 @ 12:30 p.m.

If DeMaio said that I am deeply disappointed with him.

I expected nothing less from KFC Sanders.


Don Bauder Dec. 29, 2011 @ 1:45 p.m.

DeMaio plays to his donors -- the fat cats. He has made statements such as he is in favor of the Chargers stadium,.but doesn't want taxpayers to foot the bill. But he hasn't explained who will come up with the $700 million or more to fill the gap. So it's gibberish. Best, Don Bauder


SurfPuppy619 Dec. 29, 2011 @ 12:28 p.m.

Late Christams present.

Everyone is celebrating exept the welfare queen developers who are no longer getting a ride on the gravy train.

Corky McMillion must be having a heart attack right now.....


Don Bauder Dec. 29, 2011 @ 1:46 p.m.

Already the developers are plotting a way for the legislature to override the court's decision -- say, by setting up a quasi-development agency. But the state is in horrible financial shape; I think (hope) it won't fly. Best, Don Bauder


Ponzi Dec. 29, 2011 @ 1:51 p.m.

You might say he is rolling over in his grave. Corky McMillin died on September 22, 2005 at the age of 76 less than two weeks after he had a heart attack while racing.


Don Bauder Dec. 29, 2011 @ 2:59 p.m.

Yes, Ponzi, McMillin, he dead, but some people use his name instead of the company's name. Maybe SP meant that the company is having a collective heart attack. Best, Don Bauder


SurfPuppy619 Dec. 29, 2011 @ 4:58 p.m.

Actually I was unaware Corky McMillin had died. I thought he was instrumental in getting NTC develeoped, amd I guess since NTC has not been developed for that long I didn't know about his death, or recalled it if I did learn if it.


Don Bauder Dec. 30, 2011 @ 3:50 p.m.

I knew he had died but made no following your original post. Best, Don Bauder


SDUnemployed Dec. 29, 2011 @ 1:18 p.m.

I agree with the decision. It is the correct one as we all know that there has been abuse and waste. I laugh when I read Fletcher's reaction to the decision-after all, he was the one who had the ceiling lifted on redevelopment funds. I hope our SD citizens will not vote for any of these politicians running for mayor.


Don Bauder Dec. 29, 2011 @ 1:49 p.m.

Fletcher is greatly responsible for the silent, midnight deal which lifted the cap on redevelopment funds so the Chargers could get their sticky fingers into them. And the guy is running for mayor. He should drop out. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Dec. 29, 2011 @ 1:55 p.m.

ESCONDIDO BALLPARK ALL BUT DEAD. "The ballpark is dead," Escondido mayor Sam Abed told the Union-Tribune. Escondido wanted to pay a $50 million subsidy to the Padres to put its AAA minor league team in the city. Steve Peace, representing Padres chief executive Jeff Moorad, lamented, "This is not good news." As revealed in my Reader column Nov. 30, Mayor Abed owns land near the ballpark, but was permitted to vote on the project. In that same column, I revealed that Escondido hired Charles Black to negotiate with the Padres. Who is Black? Former president of the Padres, and former executive vice president of JMI Realty, controlled by John Moores, former majority shareholder of the Padres. Escondido does not know the meaning of "arm's length." Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Dec. 29, 2011 @ 2:04 p.m.

HENDERSON COMMENTS. "Redevelopment was designed to address abandoned buildings that if you walked inside you might fall through the floor," says former councilmember Bruce Henderson, who has fought redevelopment abuses. "Detroit has blight," but San Diego hasn't, he says. In the ballpark deal, which cost the City $300 million in subsidies, and is still an annual drain, then-Padres majority owner John Moores got 26 blocks for a pittance. He sold them for a stiff price. They are now filled with condos and hotels with few people in them. The deal was done without competitive bidding. If those blocks would have gone into the bidding process, "the City might have received a billion dollars," says Henderson. Some say Moores walked away with a billion dollars from his ballpark project alone, although he disputes that his profits were that high. In any case, he took the loot back to Texas. Best, Don Bauder


Visduh Dec. 29, 2011 @ 8:58 p.m.

Sam Abed could be a fine leader for Escondido. But on this matter he is dead wrong. The city, once a rather bright spot, has sunk into poverty and disrepair. It cannot afford any giveaways, any more than San Diego can afford to give the Chargers a new and ill-located stadium. Escondido needs to do everything it can to create jobs for its impoverished barrios, and forget the trappings of grandiosity, such as that stadium would have been. If you live in No County as I do, the notion that a fancy stadium in Escondido would somehow rejuvenate that city is ludicrous. We need many things in this area, and none of those has to do with fancy accoutrements normally associated with a big and wealthy city. Escondido, like San Diego, needs to repair its streets, encourage businesses in its downtown, keep the water and sewer systems working, and hang on to the advantages it once had. No ballpark could make it better: such a thing would only make it poorer.


Don Bauder Dec. 30, 2011 @ 3:57 p.m.

Right on, Visduh. Repairing the streets, keeping the water and sewer systems going, keeping up with infrastructure, keeping libraries and recreation centers open are the jobs of governments. Now governments fashion themselves as corporate welfare machines. And they neglect the basics. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Dec. 29, 2011 @ 3:22 p.m.

CROWN JEWELS? HUH? Following is the first paragraph of a story in today's (Dec. 29) Union-Tribune: "The tool used to develop downtown San Diego's crown jewels -- the Gaslamp Qurter, Horton Plaza and Petco Park -- is no more." That tool is, of course, redevelopment. But let's look at those crown jewels: Not long after it went up, major retailers started moving out of Horton Plaza. Centre City Development Corp. (CCDC) moved some of its offices there to boost the sagging occupancy rate. In April of 2010, a vice president of CCDC told Craig Rose, Reader reporter, that the center had to renegotiate leases with tenants because business was so poor. Tenants would have to move out without lower rents. The CCDC VP admitted there were not enough people living downtown to sustain a shopping mall. He said 40 to 50% of customers were tourists. Then Horton Park's owners pulled a fast one. They got the City to tear down a large part of the center. Then, the company promised it would maintain a park in the empty space. Why shouldn't the owner of a shopping center pay to have unsuccessful buildings torn down? Why should the company snooker the city council? Horton Plaza has not been successful.

Next, the ballpark. Over the last several years, it has brought in lower attendance than the team had at Qualcomm its last several years. Then-Padres owner John Moores said the team could not be economically successful if it had to stay at Qualcomm. A committee appointed by the mayor -- almost entirely downtown overlords -- agreed with Moores. Moores had promised San Diegans that if he got a new stadium, he would spend money to make the Padres competitive. Hmmm. Also, the City claimed on the ballot that the ballpark would be economically neutral -- TOT receipts from hotels would pay for bond services. Then bureaucrats admitted to a grand jury that they had been told by the administration to juggle the numbers to make it appear that the ballpark would pay for itself.

Finally, the Gaslamp Quarter. Yes, redevelopment played a role there, but an even larger role might have been played by facade easements which relieved owners of federal and state taxes. Those considerable tax advantages were part of the historical restoration movement. Best, Don Bauder


paul Dec. 30, 2011 @ 12:54 a.m.

"Then-Padres owner John Moores said the team could not be economically successful if it had to stay at Qualcomm. A committee appointed by the mayor -- almost entirely downtown overlords -- agreed with Moores. Moores had promised San Diegans that if he got a new stadium, he would spend money to make the Padres competitive."

Moores rented a good team to rally support for a stadium.

2010 Opening day payroll: $37,799,300 $1,453,819/per player

1998 Opening day payroll: 53,066,166 - 1,894,863/per player

In 1998 (at Qualcomm) the payroll was 9th out of 31 teams, 80% of the Yankees payroll.

In 2010 (at Petco) the payroll was 29th out of 31 teams, 18.3% of the Yankees payroll.

Moores should be in jail.


mudvillemike Dec. 29, 2011 @ 9:25 p.m.

This is an overreaching decision that throws the baby out with the bath water.It is crazy to say that their is no blight downtown or anywhere else for that matter. Has their been misuse and misappropriation with CCDC funding yes and that can be said for every other organization that handles money on the planet. Yes Coronado is a good example but I have lived in the East Village for 15 years and in 1997 it was a like a Darfur refugee camp. Literally 100's and 100's of homeless people living on the street ,bed role after bed roll lined the streets like a giant outdoor boarding house. Blight was every where. The area where Petco now exists looked like a post-apocalyptic landscape. Where was the outrage then,where was the press,where was Don Bauder. The financial problems of San Diego and the state were not caused by using tax-payer money to build nice buildings and ballparks.It was caused by mismanagement of retirement funds. Their are many new nice new low income housing projects throughout the East Village. Have you driven down Market Street going East lately? It is checkered with new low income mid-rise buildings. I don't understand the Bruce Henderson's and the Don Bauder's of the world who are so anti-development. Would they prefer the giant gaping hole that sat on the corner of 10th and F to sit and rot for another 30 years . I prefer the apartments full of young people who live there and work in the neighborhood, and shop and support the local business's that surround it. If you are blind to the blight that still exists I will take you on a tour, it's not hard to find. Would not a better solution have been to have better oversight and more rigorous examination of how the money was spent. Don't the taxes from new development go into the cities coffers? My neighborhood was a crack ridden, crime ridden,insane, discarded, unsafe cesspool when I moved in. Now it is one the most entertaining, exciting and interesting places in San Diego. A source of pride for the city. Thank you CCDC a job well done. This money will now be reallocated to corrupt and bloated unions so we can now have 10 guys standing around a man whole eating lunch instead of 5.


Don Bauder Dec. 29, 2011 @ 10:33 p.m.

Henderson and I are not anti-redevelopment. We are opposed to redevelopment that goes to legacy buildings downtown -- Chargers stadium, for example -- that should be built with private capital. The big money has kidnapped redevelopment. It was great for its original purpose: curing actual blight. Now it's used to subsidize shopping centers, hotels, ballparks and football stadiums, basketball arenas and even gambling casinos. If redevelopment would have stuck to its original purpose of improving truly downtrodden neighborhoods it would be fine. Best, Don Bauder


paul Dec. 30, 2011 @ 1:18 a.m.

"I have lived in the East Village for 15 years and in 1997 it was a like a Darfur refugee camp. Literally 100's and 100's of homeless people living on the street ,bed role after bed roll lined the streets like a giant outdoor boarding house. Blight was every where. The area where Petco now exists looked like a post-apocalyptic landscape."

Ridiculous hyperbole doesn't make your case.

Why would you have moved to "Darfur" 15 years ago? Maybe because the area was already rapidly improving (without the ballpark), and maybe because you were speculating on redevelopment dollars increasing your investment.

The biggest problem you site is the homeless. News flash: They haven't disappeared. Many are still downtown while many more have been displaced into the surrounding communities. Moving services to try and relocate the homeless away from your neighborhood to improve your property values has been a substantial net drain on the city.


Don Bauder Dec. 30, 2011 @ 12:33 p.m.

Yes, there are still plenty of homeless downtown, including in and around the ballpark district. Best, Don Bauder


SanDiegoParrothead Dec. 30, 2011 @ 8:29 a.m.

"...Would not a better solution have been to have better oversight and more rigorous examination of how the money was spent..."

Mike - do you really believe this could ever truly happen in California?


SurfPuppy619 Dec. 30, 2011 @ 10:05 a.m.

Mike is either a tool for the CCDC or seriously ignorant of the facts.


Don Bauder Dec. 30, 2011 @ 4 p.m.

Rigorous oversight and examination of how money is spent is such a basic precept that I can't see how anyone could disagree with it. But governments and corporations don't follow basic precepts. Best, Don Bauder


Burwell Dec. 29, 2011 @ 9:59 p.m.

The area where Petco now exists looked like a post-apocalyptic landscape. Where was the outrage then,where was the press,where was Don Bauder.

The area where Petco was built was filled with warehouses and commercial buildings that employed hundreds. The area was a thiving incubator of small businesses. Just like the Grantville area is today. It was nowhere near Berlin 1945.


Don Bauder Dec. 29, 2011 @ 10:34 p.m.

I agree with Burwell on that point. And I would add that many people lost their businesses when the City seized the land so John Moores could sell it for absurd prices. Best, Don Bauder


SurfPuppy619 Dec. 30, 2011 @ 10:07 a.m.

26.I agree with Burwell on that point. And I would add that many people lost their businesses when the City seized the land so John Moores could sell it for absurd prices.

That was the worst of RDA's, they used eminent domain (thanks to the SCOTUS gift of to Kelo v City New London) to take property from the poor and middle class and give it away to the rich developers.

Here is soem reading material for Mike;




Don Bauder Dec. 30, 2011 @ 4:02 p.m.

The Kelo and Citizens United decisions by the current SCOTUS were two of the worst in history. Best, Don Bauder


SurfPuppy619 Dec. 30, 2011 @ 5:46 p.m.

Agree 10%, thsoe two cases were byt worst of the SCOTUS in the last 25-50 years, both truly dangerous to the future country. Citizens United could undermine the entire country IMO. It must be overturned.


mudvillemike Dec. 30, 2011 @ 9:19 a.m.

Wow I am the loan dissenting view point. Is this really a dialog or just a bunch of people patting each other on the back, Ditto heads. I stand by my description of the the area by the ballpark before and around 1997, an out door boarding house a homeless encampment. It is amazing how revisionist historians like to look back and reminisce about the good old days before the man came in and ruined every thing. The East Village is a large and diverse neighborhood,and varies block by block where I live was surrounded by vacant lots that have now been developed. Darfur no,blighted yes. Since this blog is full of stats, how much did Bruce Henderson cost the tax payers with his lawsuits to try and stop Petco. Me thinks in the millions. How much money did the average persons taxes go up for the Ballpark? Your taxes stayed the same its about allocation of the taxes you are already paying,with all the money that is frittered away by the bureaucracy at least CCDC has something to show for the money they spent. Now that the CCDC money is gone is Mr. Bauder going to track where the billions go and how the average citizens lives have been improved? Or is just going to underfunded pension funds. Sorry that doesn't help improve San Diego.


SurfPuppy619 Dec. 30, 2011 @ 10:08 a.m.

Nike, you're either the only one that doesn't get it or you're ignorant of the abuses that these RDA's have enagaged in, abuses that could never, ever be cured.


Don Bauder Dec. 30, 2011 @ 4:07 p.m.

There have been cases in which redevelopment has NOT been abused. But you have to look hard to find them. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Dec. 30, 2011 @ 4:05 p.m.

The city attorney at the time-- the hapless Casey Gwinn -- made estimates of how much Henderson's suits cost. The estimates were ridiculous. The city would have saved hundreds of millions had Henderson prevailed. Best, don Bauder


Psycholizard Dec. 30, 2011 @ 11:20 a.m.

Hail, hail, the gangs all here. The town should have exploded in honking horns when this was announced. Except for one blog everyone seems to be taking this in stride. This is so great! I can't denounce everything these development agencies built, (I like Horton Plaza), but builders swarmed these agencies like rats to an outdoor dog dish, and appointed agencies came to make decisions that should be reserved for elected officials. If cities want to build, they can always ask the people for money.

Jerry Brown earned my vote with this one accomplishment, and he's not finished.


Don Bauder Dec. 30, 2011 @ 4:08 p.m.

You may like Horton Plaza, Psycholizard, but as a shopping center, it has been a dismal failure. Best, Don Bauder


SurfPuppy619 Dec. 30, 2011 @ 5:47 p.m.

Don, I think when Horton Plaza first opened (1986??) it did veyr well for the first 5-10 years.......at least I thought so........


mudvillemike Dec. 30, 2011 @ 12:13 p.m.

Well you have me surrounded and I am out numbered. I shall retreat to the Neighborhood coffee shop, before I get my haircut at Floyds,the new barber shop, then head over to J-Wok a great little restaurant for lunch, then off to Horton Plaza to watch the ice skaters before I take in a movie. On the way back I will admire the new architecture, poke my head into the new hipster clothing store that just opened then head over and check on the progress of the new library, whisk by the new law school, check in at the new UPS store for a package, say hello to my friends at the Bowling alley,The Cowboy star and Cafe chloe and call it a night.


SurfPuppy619 Dec. 30, 2011 @ 12:24 p.m.

LOL.....we out number you by 11-1. If we are going by the numbers you lost for sure.......


paul Dec. 30, 2011 @ 4:10 p.m.

By population, 11-1 doesn't begin to tell the tale of the tape. He ought to be outnumbered closer to 46-1 based on overall city population.

Funny how much attention and money is lavished on the 2% of San Diegans that live in Centre City.

Somehow I don't think he has lost at all...


Don Bauder Dec. 30, 2011 @ 4:14 p.m.

The real kingpins are the ones who work in Centre City, not necessarily live there. Best, Don Bajder


Don Bauder Dec. 30, 2011 @ 4:13 p.m.

Yes, but in a criminal trial, 11-1 is not enough to convict. Let's hear more from mudvillemike. Best, Don Bauder


SurfPuppy619 Dec. 30, 2011 @ 5:48 p.m.

45.Yes, but in a criminal trial, 11-1 is not enough to convict.

Not in CA, but some states allow 11-1, and even 10-2 for conviction. I belive FL is one.


Don Bauder Dec. 30, 2011 @ 4:11 p.m.

I doubt if the court's redevelopment decision will be a subject of much heated conversation at local bowling alleys. Best, Don Bauder


Psycholizard Dec. 30, 2011 @ 3:20 p.m.

Now when Mudvillains mention the Library fiasco, they get picked off base before Casey can strike out. The same boondogglers who fire our librarians, and close our schools, want a new Taj Mahal library-school? This reeks so bad I almost hope it's crooked, because if it's not, our City Leaders are too stupid to be trusted with scissors, and might fall into the hole in the ground and hurt themselves at the opening ribbon cutting.

Old timers can remember that all the amenities mentioned could be found on Broadway before redevelopment, except we had to roller skate. We got by without the extra lawyers also.


Don Bauder Dec. 30, 2011 @ 4:17 p.m.

That school slated to go in the library is one of the biggest -- and most expensive -- boondoggles of recent history. Best,, Don Bauder


mudvillemike Dec. 30, 2011 @ 9:43 p.m.

I realize now that this is not the forum for dissent, but I do not speak for anyone but myself, based on my real life experiences. I guess 15 years in the front row of this debate has given me a different perspective on the value of developing neighborhoods with tax dollars. I know my view is definitely different than that of a elderly man who lives in Colorado, who seems to be the all knowing authority on how to spend your tax dollars. I will not dispute the overwhelming evidence of the failure and corruption of an all to powerful CCDC, that is undeniable. My original point is that taking all that money from San Diego and throwing it into the California general fund is not a win for the city. All this high-fiving and spiking the football over a supreme court decision that takes money away from the city is like dancing at a funeral. I saw a city go from skid row, to the place to go, did some fat cats get fatter, did some toes get stepped on,were bad compromises made,was their dirty back room deals, yes to all of it, but has a radically better city arisen from blight the answer is undeniably yes. Perhaps if I lived in Colorado instead of the East Village I would feel differently.


paul Dec. 31, 2011 @ 1:08 a.m.

mudvillemike said: "My original point is that taking all that money from San Diego and throwing it into the California general fund is not a win for the city."

Property taxes don't go to the state general fund. I am pretty sure the elderly gentleman in Colorado knows that, but you apparently don't.

Property taxes are divvied up locally by the counties to help fund such wasteful endeavors as schools, water districts, fire districts, libraries as well as the local cities and the county. THAT is who CCDC took the funds from, not the state.

It's all worth it, though, because while the city goes bankrupt you have a nice place to live with shops, restaurants and clubs in what should be a working blue-collar warehouse district.

While they are at it, can't they relocate all those smelly fishing boats, cargo piers and unsightly marine repair docks someplace out of your sight, like maybe Santee? There is no reason why they should be allowed to spoil your views while attracting unsavory blue-collar types to your neighborhood.


Don Bauder Dec. 31, 2011 @ 7:34 a.m.

Moving the smelly fishing boats and ugly cargo piers to Santee will take some pretty fancy engineering. Best, Don Bauder


paul Dec. 31, 2011 @ 10:25 a.m.

That was my said with tongue very firmly planted in cheek. I don't think they care what it costs (the rest of us), as long as they can't see them! ;)


SurfPuppy619 Jan. 1, 2012 @ 9:56 a.m.

It's all worth it, though, because while the city goes bankrupt you have a nice place to live with shops, restaurants and clubs in what should be a working blue-collar warehouse district.

While they are at it, can't they relocate all those smelly fishing boats, cargo piers and unsightly marine repair docks someplace out of your sight, like maybe Santee By paul 1:08 a.m., Dec 31, 2011 ==

This post by Paul- all of it not just the passage I posted- hits the nail squarly on the head, and is abotu as close as anyone I have seen document the problem in a few paragraphs.


Don Bauder Dec. 31, 2011 @ 7:31 a.m.

Money won't necessarily disappear to the state; there are ways through which it can still be used on neighborhoods in San Diego. Mayoral candidate Bob Filner has explained that. Money that downtown overlords want to go to billionaire sports team owners will now go to schools and other special districts. Best, Elderly Man in Colorado (er, Don Bauder)


mudvillemike Dec. 31, 2011 @ 12:08 p.m.

I hope you are right Don, I am sure you will keep us posted on where the money goes from whatever mountaintop you sit on now. Although we may disagree on this issue and I must confess as someone who stands to directly benefit from urban renewal my view may be slightly skewed, I admire your your bright and shiny squeaky wheel. At least I had a place to share my opinion no matter how wrong it is. Keep up the good work,thanks.


Don Bauder Dec. 31, 2011 @ 7:13 p.m.

Paul says I am an elderly gentleman and you say I have a "bright and shiny squeaky wheel." I am confused, if not addled. Best, Don Bauder


paul Jan. 1, 2012 @ 1:34 a.m.

Don, "elderly gentleman" was a reference from mudvillemike, and should have been quoted in my post.


Don Bauder Jan. 1, 2012 @ 12:57 p.m.

See, I told you I was elderly. Best, Don Bauder


SurfPuppy619 Jan. 1, 2012 @ 9:53 a.m.

I am an elderly gentleman and you say I have a "bright and shiny squeaky wheel."

I think Mudville Mike meant a "blight" and shiny squeaky wheel!


Don Bauder Jan. 1, 2012 @ 1 p.m.

Gee, if I could prove I was blighted (and it takes no evidence to prove that), maybe I could get a castle built with redevelopment funds. For now, though, the redevelopment scam seems to be over. But the political scamsters will try to bring it back, perhaps through the initiative process. Remember, they have all the money for advertising a proposition. Best, Don Bauder


dwbat Dec. 31, 2011 @ 12:16 p.m.

Hindsight is 20/20, but perhaps the $millions in redevelopmetn money spent on renovating the North Park Theatre was not such a great idea. The reality just didn't live up to the hype. For theater-goers, most choose to go downtown. And even after Lyric Opera crashed and burned, the director was still talking about a coming salem and the check was coming in the mail. I guess the letter got lost by the USPS! See: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/20...


Don Bauder Dec. 31, 2011 @ 7:19 p.m.

I don't know about the North Park Theatre but I can say that Horton Plaza has been a financial flop and Petco Park was mislocated, isn't attracting fans, and the subsidized condos and hotels are doing quite poorly. Petco and Horton Plaza are both drains on the city. And one U-T writer says they are crown jewels of redevelopment downtown. That's the kind of propaganda you will be reading and hearing as redevelopment proponents figure out how to elide the Supreme Court decision. Best, Don Bauder


SurfPuppy619 Jan. 1, 2012 @ 9:59 a.m.

Back in the early 1990's when the NP Theater was shut down I had a client that was very interested in buying it and restoring it. City wouldn't even meet with us. They wanted to do a deal with a special interest person who wanted to make it-get this- a gymnastics center.

Long story short it sat empty many many years past he point my client was looking at it, and of course produced no income from property taxes nor anything else.........cronyism is rampant in gov-at all levels. This is one in a list of hundreds of problems I encoutnered with local gov in real estate.


Don Bauder Jan. 1, 2012 @ 1:03 p.m.

Remember, when you have a mayor like Sanders, the bureaucrats making real estate decisions are basically representing the real estate industry from whence they came. Their slogan is Public Be Damned. Best, Don Bauder


dwbat Jan. 2, 2012 @ 11:49 a.m.

Oops, I didn't proofread this one. Should be: redevelopment and coming sale (not "salem).


Don Bauder Jan. 2, 2012 @ 9:19 p.m.

Salem is where they had all those witches. Best, Don Bauder


salt Jan. 2, 2012 @ 9:57 a.m.

Don, Certainly downtown San Diego is a better place since the construction of the ballpark and Horton Plaza. The redevelopment funds that built these created jobs and removed otherwise unsightly "neighborhoods". It was great that these funds could be spent locally for the beautification of our city. With the court ruling, instead of local improvements and locals jobs and local sales tax revenues, all that money would go to Sacramento for teachers salaries and prison guard salaries increasing the size of the state government that otherwise would have to have been shrunk. The Poway Business Park, the new home of General Atomics was built with redevelopment funds. Its not that those jobs would not have happened, they just would have happened in another state. California needs jobs, not more teachers and prison guards. San Marcos Creek redevelopment is transforming the small city to the north. Without the chance to keep local taxes local, we are funding Jerry Brown's revenge on proposition 13. The problem of ever increasing state government size at the expense of private sector jobs is what California has faced, and now accelerated, by this court decision. It is unsustainable.


Don Bauder Jan. 2, 2012 @ 9:24 p.m.

The subsidized condos that came with the ballpark have very few tenants. The subsidized hotels are doing poorly. Horton Plaza is a flop, and has been for some time. The major retailers moved out years ago and now Horton will tear down a big part of it, and get the city to pay for it. Developers in the ballpark district were supposed to provide affordable housing; they fell far short. I would not be against redevelopment if the money would go to GENUINELY blighted areas, and go for one purpose: affordable housing. Best, Don Bauder


salt Jan. 2, 2012 @ 11:05 p.m.

The major retailers moved out of Horton Plaza? Nordies is still there, Mervyns went belly up everywhere. What stores does say UTC have or North County Fair have that "should" be at Horton Plaza? Retailers all over are hurting in this economy. And with the overstock of downtown condos housing and crappy real estate market, housing is getting more affordable every day if we could just get some jobs. Had redevelopment not occured the city would not be receiving the sales tax from Horton Plaza nor would any of us suburbanites have any reason to go downtown...which, by the way, is absolutely beautiful! And affordable housing is being built with redevelopment money...well, not anymore.


Don Bauder Jan. 2, 2012 @ 9:25 p.m.

I think Salt swung and missed, but I appreciate your opinions. Best, Don Bauder


salt Jan. 2, 2012 @ 11:12 p.m.

Don thank you for your opinion, too. Both you and I are old enough to remember downtown before Horton Plaza and its better now than it was then. This redevelopment money made San Diego a better place, and without it, there wont be infill and downtown development, it will go back to the 1960's model of urban blight and rotting center city cores and suburban sprawl, a model that old, old Jerry Brown is nostalgic for. The money that built dreams is now being used to fill state funding gaps so inefficient government can continue to grow rather than face the financial realities of today.


Don Bauder Jan. 3, 2012 @ 12:19 p.m.

If crooked politicians don't overturn the court's decision -- by legislative action or by a rigged initiative -- the money will go to schools and other special districts. I would rather see money go to schools than to subsidizing billionaire pro sports owners. I know that is heresy among the downtown overlords, but I do think education is more important than professional football. Sorry. Best, Don Bauder


salt Jan. 3, 2012 @ 5:05 p.m.

The money will not go to schools, it will be used to close the California budget gap, basically paying teacher pensions. It will not create jobs, build in blighted areas, or beautify the city. The downtown core will rot again, like in the 60's and 70's.

Pensions are not more important than city services.


salt Jan. 3, 2012 @ 6:13 p.m.

Thanks, mudvillemike! Mr. Bauder seems to be only interested in centralizing control of our tax money to avoid local citizens making local decisions for what works best for us locally. He places more importance on funding teachers and prison guard retirements, than on local jobs.


nostalgic Jan. 2, 2012 @ 7:49 p.m.

Taxpayer-created jobs mean "I pay taxes to pay somebody else to work." But if I didn't pay those particular taxes, and had the money to spend, that would also create jobs. The government should provide services, like streets, but I don't particularly care to personally provide facilities for Comi-Con to create jobs. So I lack enthusiasm for the politicans' job creation reason for spending my tax money.


Don Bauder Jan. 2, 2012 @ 9:28 p.m.

Local governments should maintain and build streets, roads, sewer systems, water systems, storm drains, libraries, recreation centers -- the list goes on and on. Local governments should not subsidize billionaires who could use private capital to build their monuments, but make more money if they get the sucker/taxpayers to finance them. Best, Don Bauder


salt Jan. 3, 2012 @ 6:17 p.m.

Redevelopment money is in addition to the money local government gets from sales taxes to maintain street, etc. As for the millionaires and billionairs developing the inner city core, who would you rather have develop the blighted areas...the homeless? The poor? The unemployed?

Class warfare by the left is so popular, nowadays...


Fred Williams Jan. 3, 2012 @ 1:19 a.m.

The tears of CCDC taste like sweet wine to me.

Salt, Mudville...there's no cause and effect relationship between CCDC and the changes downtown. Neighborhoods with NO redevelopment did just as well if not better than those where government stooges used eminent domain to benefit their rich buddies.

Don Bauder has laid out the facts. You can check them for yourselves, if you're truly interested. Horton Plaza loses money, and is going to get a lot more expensive for taxpayers soon. The ballpark is a fiscal disaster. The empty ugly condo boxes have turned San Diego's skyline into yet another bland collection of rectangles, and the sidewalk experiences in these canyons of concrete is anything but enjoyable.

Homelessness and affordable housing have NEVER been the priority of CCDC. In fact, if you look at their own numbers you'll see they don't spend close to the 20% they're required under the law. (Katherine Rhoads -- aka LaPlayaHeritage -- has documented this thoroughly.)

Meanwhile, look at the campaign contributions of CCDC staff. They are the tail wagging the dog of the city government. Have you seen the arrogance on display when Fred Maas was finally asked questions by DeMaio at the council? His scorn for the elected officials is palpable...and then the mayor put him in charge of building a stadium downtown for the Chargers...doesn't that make you want to vomit?

San Diego's gaslamp would have evolved as it has without CCDC meddling and siphoning off funds. The other "improvements" downtown are the opposite of free enterprise...they destroyed manufacturing jobs and replaced them with minimum wage waitresses and maids. They're trying to do the same in Grantville too.

I am also old enough to remember the "bad old days" when the East Village was becoming an interesting arts district, with lofts and a lively street life. That's all been replaced with sterile high rises, mostly vacant.

In the early 90's I was also a supporter of redevelopment. But as I gained more experience my eyes were opened. It's a scam, and the people who benefit aren't the residents, the poor, or the taxpayers...it's folks like John Moores who rode into town and used CCDC to steal close to a billion dollars from our city "legally".

Yes, when you cry for the loss of "redevelopment" it makes me very happy. The biggest blight in San Diego is in the CCDC offices.


Fred Williams Jan. 3, 2012 @ 1:35 a.m.

Follow up:

The arrogance of Maas in front of the city council:


And how Maas is trying to take his revenge on DeMaio:


Does anyone still think these people are truly interested in the public good?


Don Bauder Jan. 3, 2012 @ 12:24 p.m.

Fred: amen. Excellent analysis. The first time I advocated abolition of CCDC was in 2004, I believe, in the Reader. Maybe it was 2003 or 2005. I hope it happens, but generally, when jobs are supposedly eliminated in government, they are just shifted somewhere else and given different titles. Best, Don Bauder


salt Jan. 3, 2012 @ 5:13 p.m.

The poor are beneficiaries of redevelopment because jobs are created in blighted areas. The Gaslamp was developed because of Horton Plaza. Is Horton plaza owned by the taxpayers or by Westfield. If it loses money, how do the taxpayers lose money? If the condos are empty, how do the taxpayers lose money? The biggest blight is not the nice areas but rather, the not-so-nice areas...


Burwell Jan. 3, 2012 @ 7:25 p.m.

If the condos are empty, how do the taxpayers lose money?

The loan defaults from the speculators and others who mailed their keys back to the lenders cost the Federal Government/Federal Reserve almost $10 trillion. Remember, in order to keep the financial institutions from collapsing the Fed exchanged treasury bills for mortgage backed securities at face value. These mortgage backed securites were not worth 20 cents on the dollar when the exchange occurred and the Fed knew it. You can be certain the taxpayers took a big hit on the downtown condos. Everytime I hear the word "Ballpark" I want to vomit.


mudvillemike Jan. 3, 2012 @ 7:58 p.m.

Don, one thing that has been left out in this discussion is the benefit of tourism dollars and specifically t.o.t. The most recent numbers I could find on total number of tourism dollars for San Diego are for 2009. $6,958,000,000 a year,$29.6 million a day or $221.00 a second by visitors. In the last decade we have seen an improved downtown helped pave the way for many new hotels. These guests are paying t.o.t, plus creating 1000's of new jobs. Eliminating blight,adding attractions and developing the center city has been a tax windfall for San Diego. Your argument is over simplified that all tax assisted development is charity for billionaires. It is definitely populist rhetoric but in reality it ignores harder to track revenue streams and benefits of an improved inner city. I wonder how many great monuments of the world including art, theaters, stadiums,parks would have been built without tax dollars. I doubt that anyone would visit Rome if it wasn't for the great monuments built in the past with so called charity for billionaires. When we are all gone these improvements will be our legacy, I would rather have a beautiful stadium than an abandoned bus terminal. I doubt the people who work at Horton Plaza or the Convention Center think it is a failure. To dismiss all service industry jobs as meaningless as some of your other contributors to this blog is an insult. You can make a good living working in the service industry. A bartender/server at a busy restaurant makes just as much as a union construction worker, and how many construction jobs will be lost with the end of CCDC dollars?


Fred Williams Jan. 3, 2012 @ 11:16 p.m.

Mudville, do you work for CCDC?

The reason I ask is that your statements are identical to the hogwash they peddle (and we all have to pay for in taxes).

You never participated in this forum until this topic...so I'm just wondering who you are, where you got your faulty "information", and if you're not actually a sock-puppet for CCDC.

None of your arguments stand up to scrutiny. And I bet you've never been to Rome, or have even the faintest understanding of what Gibbons called "bread and circuses", and its calamitous effect on the empire.

Those of us who actually understand economics and are deeply interested in history have to shake our heads and laugh at your foolishness...but we've seen these same lies you're repeating for so long that the laughs turn to anger at a certain point.

So, tell us honestly, who are you?


mudvillemike Jan. 4, 2012 @ 10:45 a.m.

Who am I Fred, who are you. I am contributing to this forum because it is important to me. I rushed home from work the night of the vote and googled for the results of the supreme court decision and this is the story that appeared first.It was upsetting to me so I took the time to write. I have been frustrated for many years with the Henderson's and Bauder's of this city who seem hell bent on returning it to the sleepy beach town of their youth. They claim to be watchdogs but they don't speak for many of us. This was the first time I have been compelled to write anything. It appears the followers of this blog live in a bubble, kind of like right wing radio geeks who allow for no dissent. I am here to tell you their is a whole world out here of people who are not happy about this decision. If you have read my posts I have been nothing but polite and highly critical of CCDC from the start. Who am I, I am a home owner, a business owner, an Army Veteran, Art School grad. I made scraped enough money together tending bar and managing restaurants to buy a 110 year old building in rough part of the East Village,that nobody wanted. I worked 2 jobs and spent every dime fixing the old place up. My wife and I were pioneers, kicking the bums off the porch, clearing out the crack dealers,picking up trash,painting over graffiti. Working day and night trying to build some sweat equity. This was before the downtown ballpark was even a rumor. I have lived through the changes every day for 15 years. I am amazed that people who don't live around here think they know what is better for me than I do. This is my life, this is my experience. However flawed, the process of development has been a positive thing for us. I love this city and this neighborhood and I plan to live here forever.
I am from Chicago, a town famous for its corruption and back room deals. It is also famous for a vibrant downtown,beautiful parks, public art ,architecture, and museums. Sometimes the ends justify the means.


Fred Williams Jan. 4, 2012 @ 11:12 a.m.

Fair enough. Thank you for your answer. I do admire people like you, who risk their own money, time and effort to improve a place.

My beef is with scum like John Moores, who ripped off San Diego for hundreds of millions through his ballpark scam, or Jack McGrory, the turn coat city manager who "negotiated" on our behalf, then went right to work for Moores. I'm also quite disgusted with Fred Maas, former head of CCDC during the worst of its corruption and waste, who keeps failing upward no matter how egregiously he lies to the public.

If redevelopment were focused on assisting people like you, as it was originally intended, I'd still support it.

But you and I both know that you got very little help, while scammers and politically well-connected charlatans raked in millions to build empty ugly condo-boxes.

I happen to admire Henderson and Bauder for taking principled stands against the corruption and greed that has bankrupted the city. They've paid a heavy price, being vilified to the point that even someone like you has been fooled into thinking that they're the enemy. For warning us about the scam, and trying to do something about it, they have been subject to vile abuse...while the John Moores of the world bask in undeserved praise.

So, again, I sincerely thank you for your honesty and openness. If downtown were run by people like you, San Diego would be a much better place, instead of near bankrupt as the result of theft in the name of redevelopment.


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