Morning Report: The county’s top cops will get two more years in the office
Without too much attention or discussion of the impacts, the governor recently signed a bill that will ensure District Attorney Summer Stephan remains in office through 2028. She is running for office this year unopposed for a another four-year term.
But the new law will give him two more years. The legislation was intended to bring the sheriff and district attorney elections in line with the presidential election cycle after 2022. As Jesse Marx reports, Democrats and advocates who pushed the bill argue that in the long run, it will increase participation in law enforcement races and will ensure underrepresented communities have more influence in races.
In the meantime, that means District Attorney Summer Stephan, who is running unopposed, will serve until 2028 before returning to voters. The same goes for whoever wins the sheriff’s seat. John Hemmerling, the former head of the city attorney’s criminal division, runs against Kelly Martinez, the deputy sheriff.
Both said the extra two years will give them more time to carry out their programs and stop deaths in the prisons they run. San Diego has the highest in-prison death rate among the state’s largest counties.
Read the full story here.
Speaking of election: KPBS reports that the county’s registrar of voters has new drop boxes where voters can cast their ballots.
Gloria: ‘Stop fooling around’ so the city can build more public toilets
Mayor Todd Gloria, at this weekend’s Politifest, said the city is trying to add more public restrooms, but his attempts to do so are harder than they should be because they’re so crude .
“I just need to ask people to stop fooling around in this toilet,” he said. “I mean, it’s not just the homeless population. It’s everyone. You’ve seen the stories about the lack of cleanliness. Talk about workers’ issues. It’s very difficult to get people to do this work as well. And so, you know, when that toilet gets destroyed – and I’m not saying that’s the homeless thing – it’s everybody who comes in there and does something stupid. Like, it’s kind of funny, but it’s not, is it? I mean, it’s hard for me to tell a community that we have to put public toilets there because they only see it as a negative thing rather than a common human thing, which is to say that we all go to the toilet, don’t we? ”
Last year, Gloria’s administration set a goal of having public restrooms within a five-minute walk of downtown. The city told our Lisa Halverstadt on Tuesday that it has yet to meet the goal it set nearly a year ago.
Read more about Gloria’s comments on public restrooms here.
Port Supervisors Signal Support for Public Funding of Up to $550 Million for Seaport Village Redevelopment
Six years after selecting developer 1HWY1 to redevelop Seaport Village, the Board of Harbor Commissioners said on Tuesday it agreed with the developer’s plan to seek $550 million in public funds to complete the project.
The grant would help pay for things like stabilizing the shoreline, raising the land to resist sea level rise and developing utilities, and pay for amenities that were a selling point for the project such as an urban beach, parks, a promenade and an elevated bridge. green strand” footbridge inspired by the High Line in New York.
Public funds would not be used for revenue-generating infrastructure like parking garages, or for the $2.6 billion in private development that would include 2,000 hotel rooms, an aquarium, an observation tower, retail shops and offices or a concert hall.
Yehudi “Gaf” Gaffen, who runs 1HWY1, had said he could build the project without public funds, covering upgrades with private development profits. That changed, he said, when the bill for those upgrades went from $150 million to $1.2 billion.
Where does the money come from: Part of it, about $250 million, would come from special taxes on hotel rooms and tickets to the project’s attractions. This would be in addition to the hotel taxes that the city of San Diego charges.
The other chunk would come from a tax increase funding district. The development would itself generate new tax revenue and some of this would be retained in the district. The port would use it to repay money borrowed to make the improvements described. Raising taxes was a common source of public funding in downtown San Diego, before the state killed off the redevelopment program in 2011. That could build on a similar, little-used replacement known as the improved infrastructure funding district name, although this was not detailed. Tuesday.
This increase would come from increases in property taxes, sales taxes and hotel taxes that would be paid to the county, city and school district.
The harbor commissioners, however, made it clear that they were in favor of the idea and wanted the city’s help in studying its feasibility.
“People describe it badly because they oppose any development on the site, period – they call it a subsidy,” said port commissioner Rafael Castellanos. “In the private sector they would call it an investment because you get a return on it. I implore the city to dedicate the resources to verify the economic impact study, just as we will, to determine if the business case is there…If the return is there, we should invest in our area.
“The reality looks quite different from a tax subsidy or revenue diverted from other things,” Commissioner Michael Zucchet said. “It’s income paid for by things that don’t exist right now.”
Commissioner Ann Moore said she still expects public funding, but does not want it to come from the port’s general fund or use the port’s general fund as a safety net for the surety.
“It’s a bottom line, we can’t go there, and so we need input from the city and county of San Diego,” she said.
And after: The port could give preliminary approval to the project next month, allowing the developer to begin its necessary environmental review before it can seek approval from the state Coastal Commission. Gaffen said he hopes the project could start in 2025 or early 2026, ten years after the port selected the developer.
San Diego County has a new plan for the homeless
San Diego County needs more than 9,000 new affordable and supportive housing options, at least 850 new shelter beds and thousands more units to dramatically reduce homelessness, says a new regional homelessness plan released on Wednesday.
The Regional Homelessness Task Force, the county group that coordinates the local response to homelessness, has contracted with the Corporation for Supportive Housing to produce the long-awaited plan that calls for dramatic increases in housing and ugly.
“Currently, there are not enough resources to effectively make homelessness in San Diego rare, brief, and one-time,” the plan’s authors wrote.
The new strategy urges the region to work to halve homelessness and end homelessness among veterans, families, youth and seniors over the next five years.
It also outlines the challenges the region faces to drastically reduce its homelessness crisis, including fragmented leadership and a lack of regional coordination, a dearth of low-barrier shelter options, service and housing deserts. in some areas of the county and a “little urgency” to address a severe shortage of affordable housing.
Task Force CEO Tamera Kohler acknowledged that delivering new homes and shelters won’t be easy, but applauded the city and county’s recent commitment to produce 10,000 homes. She also said shared and non-traditional housing options such as modular units could also help the county quickly house more of its homeless residents.
The key, Kohler said, will be to dramatically expand solutions, including housing.
“I think we could dramatically change the landscape and reduce the numbers,” Kohler said.
In other news
- The county earlier this week inaugurated a reception center for immigrants and refugees in National City. (Union-Tribune)
- SANDAG told 10News that he was pursuing a proposal to extend one of its tram lines in Tijuana.
- Dozens of county homeworkers who feed, bathe and clothe some of the region’s most vulnerable mobilized for better wages and benefits. 10News reports workers earn $15.50 an hour and their union says low wages are causing a shortage.
- Inside the county administration building, supervisors signed a new mandate to provide fentanyl education in county schools, distribute naloxone overdose treatment to parents, and teach students how to use it. (City News Service)
- Residents of Barrio Logan collect petition signatures with the Environmental Health Coalition to demand that county air quality regulators get rid of odors from a local biodiesel plant, they say, makes them sick. (Union-Tribune)
- Military families are seeing their housing allowance increase, but may not be enough. (KPBS)
The morning report was written by Jesse Marx, Andrew Keatts and Lisa Halverstadt. It was edited by Andrew Keatts.