This & That

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…..?)

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As The Kids Say

Out of the Mouth Of Modern Babes

The question of the day on this morning’s KPBS radio was whether or not the Chargers doing well in the playoffs will affect their quest for a new stadium.

The answer, as the kids say, is a resounding “DUH!”

The Chargers spent 2007 preparing to clinch a playoff berth on the field while, off the field trying to clinch a location for a new stadium. Considering almost as many alternative locations as the Regional Airport Authority did looking to replace Lindberg (at least the Spanos family didn’t consider trying to build a floating stadium, though then again…) they zeroed in on Chula Vista—a city apparently in even worse fiscal shape than San Diego. The Chargers real end game is to put so much pressure on Jerry Sanders and Mike Aguirre in their respective reelection years—“What, you let them become the Chula Vista Chargers?”—that they finally get some concessions on their field of Dreams. And, just like the Padres understood, it doesn’t hurt to having a winning team while trying to woe the local pols and public. Meanwhile if Sander’s and Aguirre’s most likely serious challengers—that would be Steve “Let’s Spend Another Million” Francis and Alan “I’m betting the MEA hates Aguirre more than the SDTA hates me” Bersin, respectively—want a ready-made issue for June, Charger fever could become their best political lightening bolt.

Dream on Chula Vista – you’re just a shill in the Chargers’ end game.

Meanwhile, in case anyone is paying attention amidst all the Bolts’ hoopla, the Iowa and New Hampshire contests have come and gone and now its on to Michigan, South Carolina, Florida and Tsunami Tuesday and who are leading their respective packs? Ahem. That would be Clinton and McCain. And who has said since spring they were going to win the big enchiladas? Ahem.