City Council Democrats on Monday responded to Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s power move with a power move of their own: They voted in lockstep not to schedule the special election the mayor is seeking.

Late last week, Faulconer used his veto power to restore money for the special election that the Council had taken out. But it’s up to the Council to actually schedule a special election, and it voted not to on a 5-4 party-line vote. Faulconer was hoping two measures would go before voters later this year: his plan to raise the hotel tax to expand the Convention Center and fund homelessness services and road repairs, and the SoccerCity plan to redevelop Qualcomm Stadium.

Just six months ago, Council Democrats fractured over who should be the Council president, in what became a proxy war between factions within the liberal base. Council President Myrtle Cole won, with Faulconer’s support and the votes of the four Republicans on the Council.

That seems like a long time ago. The Democrats remained united this week under heavy pressure from the mayor’s office. They each discussed their commitment to putting up a different ballot measure in 2018, one that could see a greater emphasis on homelessness and affordable housing.

• Monday’s vote was about whether to schedule a special election. But there are still pieces of the saga coming to a Council meeting near you. On Tuesday, the Council will vote on whether to override the mayor’s budget changes. After the Council stripped funding for a special election from the budget, Faulconer used his veto power to put the money back in – and he made vindictive cuts to his opponents’ Council budgets as retribution. The Council will need a supermajority – six votes – to undo the mayor’s actions.

• The City Council will vote next Monday on whether to place the SoccerCity plan for the Qualcomm Stadium site on a future ballot. If the special election is off the table, that ballot would likely go before voters in 2018. They could also approve the measure outright, without sending it to a public vote, but that is not expected.


We Stand Up For You. Will You Stand Up For Us?

Critics Want County to Loosen the Purse Strings

On Monday, two county supervisors announced they want to pull $25 million from the county’s enormous savings account to fund affordable housing.

That’s a small nod toward a growing chorus of critics who say the county sits on piles of cash instead of spending it on vulnerable residents.

In her latest piece examining the county’s vast bank account and the decisions about how it’s deployed, Lisa Halverstadt fleshes out the arguments of activists and Board of Supervisor candidates who say it’s time for the county to dip into its vast resources to address the homelessness and affordable housing crises.

Border Report: Congress Turns Attention to Border Agents, Deported Vets

Though members of Congress have been plenty outspoken about their desire or distaste for President Donald Trump’s border wall, that’s not the only border-related issue the House has been examining, as Brooke Binkowski notes in the latest Border Report.

Last week, the Republican-led House voted to do away with polygraph exams for some prospective Border Patrol agents. And Rep. Juan Vargas recently led a group of Democratic members of Congress to meet with U.S. military veterans who’ve been deported and are living in Tijuana.

Quick News Hits

• The Tony Awards on Sunday included some big shout-outs to the La Jolla Playhouse. The New York Times caught up with Christopher Ashley, who won best director, about San Diego’s theater audience and what’s ahead for him.

• Another day, another dire housing report: This one says San Diego needs 73,000 new apartments by 2030 to keep up with demand. (City News Service)

• Here’s a cool update on the News Revenue Hub, which started under VOSD and is spinning off into its own organization. (Neiman Lab)

    This article relates to: Morning Report, News

    Written by Sara Libby

    Sara Libby is VOSD’s managing editor. She oversees VOSD’s newsroom and its content. You can reach her at sara.libby@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0526.

    6 comments
    craig Nelson
    craig Nelson

    Let's hope the City Council puts an end to this Sucker City nonsense today. Send the NYC Robber Barons back home. 

    bob jones
    bob jones

    VINDICTIVE action, how desperate...punish city council members for voting on behalf of their constituents and what the people voted for last year...these are your constituents too mr. mayor...trying to pull a fast one over on the people, hurry up...are you only about your wheel of benefactors?  Do you realize your optics rarely look like you act on behalf of the people of San Diego?  You should have more closed door meetings that will really help build your sinking trust factor mayor.  

    Jeremy Hansen
    Jeremy Hansen

    @bob jones  Hi Bob, out of interest I went back and searched up measure L, and this is what measure L said on the ballot: 

    "CHARTER AMENDMENT REQUIRING CITIZENS’ INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM MEASURES TO BE PLACED ON NOVEMBER GENERAL ELECTION BALLOTS, UNLESS THE COUNCIL DECIDES TO SUBMIT THEM TO VOTERS EARLIER.

    Shall the Charter be amended to require qualified citizens’ initiative and referendum measures to be submitted to voters on the next November general election ballot and not at a June primary election, unless the Council chooses to submit the measure to voters prior to that election?"


    One of the great misrepresentations in this story is stating that Measure L says it has to be a November election if its "not an emergency". It didn't say anything of that, it simply said have it in the general election and not the primary, unless the council decides to submit it to voters earlier. No wonder so many people voted for it.


    The council having the choice of a special election is exactly what the people voted for last year. It's quite the lie to say otherwise.

    bob jones
    bob jones

    @Jeremy Hansen @bob jones Thanks for the clarification Jeremy, but my POV is that the spirit of vote on L was making sure SD voted on important initiatives and that they were not rushed through thus putting the city at risk.  My belief this is one of those situations,  Regardless, CC voted against the special election and I feel the the VINDICTIVE action the mayor took b/c of their votes against the special election is shameful.  I also feel that his continuing practice of secret closed door meetings and the lack of public disclosure of meetings is wrong.

    Bob Gardner
    Bob Gardner subscriber

    Dear Mr. Mayor -If your convention center expansion was so important to you, why didn't you put it on the ballot last November in the general election. That's right. You were pandering to a different set of cronies than you are this year. And if you have $5,000,000 available for a special election, please spent that money on fixing our roads, water lines, and sewer system. A lot of people have been promised by the city that their roads would be repaved by now and it hasn't happened.


    Don Atenow
    Don Atenow

    @Bob Gardner Mayor needs to listen to the residents first and foremost. Infrastructure needs a solid plan of maintenance and management. That'll take a level of effort that the mayor is likely expending elsewhere to get his trophy development. His current path is not in the best interest of SD.