The Chargers have spent the week furiously trying to put together an initiative that would raise the hotel-room tax to fund construction of a new convention center and stadium. A big wrench has come into play: a bombshell court decision that would lower the bar for stadium measures to a simple majority vote.
San Diego can either decide to help East Village on its current path of transforming into an innovative, economic district or it can bend to the will of billionaires.
If the Chargers want a stadium downtown, they may have to pursue it over the mayor’s opposition. That might happen.
San Diego attorney Charles Black worked with the city, the Port of San Diego and the Convention Center on planning a new waterfront expansion to the San Diego Convention Center. Now, he’s also working for Fifth Avenue Landing, the company that holds the lease to the land vital for that type of expansion site. Councilman David Alvarez says that violates standards for attorneys that discourage working both sides of a deal. Black and the city say those standards don’t apply here.
Did San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer make a deal for the city to spend millions to secure a coastal plot of land next to the San Diego Convention Center? Depends on whom you ask.
A new measure being pushed by Cory Briggs and Donna Frye would remake downtown and the city’s hotel-room tax system unlike any proposal in the decade-plus since two proposals to increase the tax failed at the ballot box. The proposal seems to have left San Diego’s elite tongue-tied. Why? Well, one part of the measure is innovative, if not genius. It’s the same part, though, that’s legally shaky.
A new study released last week bolstered the case for a waterfront expansion to the San Diego Convention Center and even persuaded Mayor Kevin Faulconer to support a tax hike to fund the project. But the same study might undermine the project in court.
If the mayor wants to build a Convention Center expansion along the waterfront, he’ll have to do it without a new 1,600-room hotel across the street that was supposed to serve as cash cow for the project.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer has decided to remain loyal to the idea of expanding the Convention Center in one place along the bayfront. But that’s not the end of the story. Not only will the mayor need to persuade voters to increase taxes, he must also overcome another lawsuit from Cory Briggs.
The decision about where to put the next big Convention Center expansion and how to pay for it is looming once again, and other public officials are counting on Mayor Kevin Faulconer to lead the way after seeing the last plan torpedoed in court.