San Diego learned this week about the incredible power of the mayor.

At a City Council meeting Monday, the mayor’s proposed budget included $5 million for a special election in November. Voters would potentially weigh in on two big land-use issues – the expansion of the Convention Center and the future of the Qualcomm Stadium site.

Although the City Council stripped the special election funding from the budget, the city attorney’s office explained that Mayor Kevin Faulconer can veto specific changes and add in what he wants. And to override the mayor’s changes, City Council need a supermajority of six votes, not just a simple majority.

On this week’s podcast, hosts Andrew Keatts and Sara Libby explain what this means for the proposed special election and San Diego politics as a whole.

In the second half of the show, Michael McConnell, a local homelessness advocate, joins the podcast to talk about a new poll he commissioned that found voters are far more likely to approve a hotel tax hike focused on solving homelessness than Faulconer’s plan.

Even though there are still discussions about the different ways homelessness can be handled, McConnell says data has already found the best solution — permanent housing — and now the city just needs to fund it.

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

“The debate’s over, and I think we could really come together and agree that we need to get people in permanent housing,” he says. “We just need to have a real will to do it.”

Andrea Guerrero, executive director of Alliance San Diego, also stopped by the podcast to talk about how Measure L  – which voters approved last year, sending most citizen’s initiatives and referendums to November general elections – is currently taking center stage in the special election debate.

“We should be making these big decisions … when the most people are participating, not when a small fraction of the voters are participating,” she said.

Hero of the Week

Voice of San Diego’s very own Maya Srikrishnan, who will be playing violin in Mainly Mozart’s “San Diego Makes Music” community collaboration concert Sunday at Balboa Park, is the hero this week.

Goat of the Week

The folks who got involved in the all-out brawl at the Observatory North Park during a concert are not cool.

Subscribe to the VOSD Podcast on iTunes or get the RSS feed here. Stream or download it here or read the full show transcript.

    This article relates to: Must Reads, News, Voice of San Diego Podcast

    Written by Adriana Heldiz

    Adriana Heldiz is Voice of San Diego’s Assistant Digital Manager. She makes videos and helps manage the organization’s online presence. Adriana can be reached at

    Joan Lockwood
    Joan Lockwood

    So true Molly...If we can separate the funding for each need rather Bundling the 3 needs.  Maybe easier to pass one measure but the money never gets to the vulnerable,  San Diego loves money and those with have a great influence on politics and the others are left to their own ends

    Molly Cook
    Molly Cook

    It's great to read and hear the Voice's good coverage of all that's San Diego, including the always-interesting (but never surprising) politics.  Kevin Faulconer and the Soccer City team are following closely the playbook written years ago and San Diegans can either stop wasting energy trying to stop a mega-machine (already the tactic of those who'd rather ignore what's happening) or dig in harder, stop squabbling among themselves and figure out a way to get San Diego on a solid track once and for all.

    As for the promise of helping the homeless while funding Soccer City, doubtful.  San Diego always seems to find a way to gobble up any and all funds with bureaucratic delays and that will happen again.  The money intended to actually HELP people will not get there. 

    My bet, sadly, in this whole sorry mess is on the Money/Power team.  Too many big egos will always spoil the soup and Lord knows we've got plenty of big egos.