This & That
This: There was an excellent piece last week (by KPBS’ always excellent radio journalist, Alison St John, on proposed redevelopment of the bay front south of the convention center. The link to the podcast is here. The story underscores the central issue of what has driven much of local development policy in recent years: sacrificing the long-term security of middle income jobs to gain increased tax revenues from real estate development. Case in point, the desire of some in and out of government to eliminate, move or modify cargo operations the Tenth Avenue pier to make room for expansion of the convention center, more hotels and restaurants and, maybe even (fingers crossed, Spanos family?) room for another sports stadium on the bay. The plan is to double deck the current port operations (cargo facilities down below, four star cuisine up above.) Maybe it’s doable. But, if they try and discover it really doesn’t work, push comes to shove, which jobs do you think are going to be shoved off the docks? The middle income dock workers or the hotel profit-generating low income service workers? Years ago someone paid to put somewhat obscure ads on municipal busses calling San Diego “The Last Plantation Economy.” Seems they were correct, if a tad premature.
That: Jerry Sanders avoided a November ballot showdown with the City’s workers unions by striking a compromise deal. Good news for Jerry who probably has less political capital to spend than he thinks following the June primary. Yeah, he won but Susan Golding (you remember her? Last mayor to actually serve two full terms?) went into her reelection campaign winning the primary with over 70% of the vote and with no real opposition. Meanwhile the deal seems to benefit the mayor and city more than the workers, introducing a two-tiered pension plan for newbie workers v. the old guard. Hey municipal employees unions, remember how well that worked for the grocery workers a few years back? The city unions have fallen victim to the old ploy of divide and conquer. Except they’ve divided and conquered themselves.
(And yes, for those of you who actually clicked on the above link, I am an avid reader of “Global Pensions.” Isn’t everybody in the know…..?)