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Civic San Diego, formerly known as Centre City Development Corporation (CCDC), wants to assume control of permitting and processing responsibilities in the 14-former redevelopment areas. To accomplish that task, executives at Civic San Diego are working behind the scenes with council members and officials from the Development Services Department. They even went so far as to request a meeting with labor union general manager Michael Zucchet, without the knowledge of city officials.

That's the claim from lawyers representing the San Diego Municipal Employees Association (MEA) in a September 19 letter to San Diego's Director of Human Resources, Judy von Kalinowsky.

Attorneys for the Municipal Employees Union say the backroom maneuverings by the chair of Civic San Diego's board, Cynthia Morgan, its president Jeff Graham, and Chief Financial Officer Andrew Phillips, is at odds with state collective bargaining laws, namely the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act.

The letter was in response to a request from Cynthia Morgan to meet with Zucchet to discuss "Civic San Diego's desire to take over certain 'permitting and processing' responsibilities related to development applications within the 14 former redevelopment areas of the City."

During the meeting Civic San Diego representatives said they had discussed the takeover with certain City officials and with members of the City Council and "had garnered the full support of certain Councilmembers."

The agreement between the former redevelopment corporation and city councilmembers, according to the letter, was that Civic San Diego would first assume control of permitting and processing in two of the 14 redevelopment areas, taking on more down the road.

"Since neither you as Director of Human Resources nor any other representative of the City's labor relations function was present at this meeting on September 10th, you may be unaware of these assertions, tactics or objectives as articulated by Civic San Diego's representatives. This letter is intended, therefore, to give you notice of this troubling situation and to entrust to you the responsibility of clarifying for City Officials and the City Council what the City's duties and obligations are in this matter."

Jeff Graham and Andrew Phillips did not respond in time for publication. Nor did labor leader Michael Zucchet.

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John Kitchin Sept. 20, 2013 @ 8:05 p.m.

The Mafia wants a whole lot of things. Will they get them? It has been suggested that redevelopment money be turned over to the City Dept. of Housing so that it can proceed with redevelopment instead of delay after delay.


laplayaheritage Sept. 22, 2013 @ 4:53 p.m.

The City Council cannot give away Bargaining Unit Work to the private Civic San Diego without meet and confer negotiations with MEA City labor organizations, and without going through Managed Competition Guidelines. Civic San Diego expect to get a No-Bid Contract, similar to the one for the Successor Housing Entity assets, which includes $32 million in Cash and Unspent Bond Proceeds.

Civic San Diego wants to take on current position responsibilities of City employees.

In order to following the law, the transfer of bargaining unit work through the use of subconsulting contracts to private outside agencies is a mandatory subject of bargaining that requires the City to Meet and Confer with the impacted labor organization.


jelula Sept. 23, 2013 @ 3:06 p.m.

The suggestion of splitting the City's power to issue (or not issue) project permits like this is ridiculous! This is the responsibility of DSD, based on zoning and other development-related ordinances. We shouldn't farm out selective permitting decisions to an NGO or private enterprise which, to some extent, is a not unfair description of many of Civic San Diego's board members.

I find myself thinking about the efforts by an out-of-town interest to obtain specialized amendments to the City's billboard ordinances in the so-called "Downtown Entertainment District", which has been described in their presentations as encompassing 52 city blocks of downtown. Of course, they've backed off of that largest number, if I recall, but that still would be a change resulting in huge changes in the ambiance of downtown San Diego, one that I don't think is worth the trade-off for the minor percentage of revenue from such signs going to Arts & Culture. Civic San Diego is an advocate for this change and would also be the permitting agency for these large digital billboards under the described scenario.

Readers should refresh their memories by reading these Reader articles from 2012 & 2013:


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