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Morning Report: Tortillas in Imperial County Funded by San Diego Water Payments

Imperial County

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San Diego water payments have funded an expansion of a tortilla-making business and the opening of a new slaughterhouse in Imperial County.

VOSD’s Ry Rivard explains how a massive water deal between the San Diego County Water Authority and the Imperial Irrigation District has ended up funding all sorts of interesting things in our neighboring county to the east.

Imperial County is the largest holder of rights to water in the Colorado River. San Diego needed some of that water, so the two counties struck a deal.

That 15-year-old water deal included San Diego paying Imperial to pay farmers not to farm (so that the county wouldn’t use so much water, but farmers wouldn’t lose out on money). San Diego also agreed to set aside $50 million to boost parts of Imperial County that may be indirectly affected by farm fallowing.

“That’s how water rates ended up funding beef plants,” Rivard writes.

The money has also been used to fund a theater company, the El Centro Police Activities League and more nonprofit and for-profit entities meant to stimulate economic growth.

Double Dipping Wouldn’t Be New for Dumanis

The San Diego Union-Tribune revealed recently that lawyers for former District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis had been working to ensure she could collect a pension and a salary at the same time, if her campaign for a seat on the County Board of Supervisors is successful.

No worry, Dumanis told the U-T. She said she had no intention of actually taking a pension and salary simultaneously, and planned not to accept the $172,000 supervisor salary, if she had been elected.

But if she had accepted a pension and a salary at the same time, that wouldn’t actually be anything new for Dumanis. Turns out, she had been collecting a $29,000 annual pension from her time as a judge, from 1995 to 2003, during her last two-and-a-half years as the district attorney, before she resigned last summer.

VOSD’s Ashly McGlone broke the news late Wednesday night.

North County Report: Sanchez Drops Out of District 5 Supervisor Bid

It had looked this way for weeks, but now it’s official: Oceanside City Councilwoman Esther Sanchez is no longer running for the County Board of Supervisors.

In a Facebook post, Sanchez informed supporters that her mother’s passing had taken her off the trail for too long, and she was stepping aside to make way for another candidate. There are now no Democrats running for the open seat.

Ruarri Serpa covers the news in this week’s edition of the North County Report, plus checks in on a new poll on the closely watched CA-49 race, an Oceanside settlement over the death of a young boy, and Vista turned down a last-minute request of $5 million from an affordable housing developer.

Put the Potcast in Your Earbuds

Sam Humeid knows the marijuana industry. He’s owned both illegal and legal cannabis dispensaries in Los Angeles, he’s run a medical marijuana delivery service, and lately he’s been busy actively lobbying local city councils to pass progressive regulations for the industry.

VOSD’s Jesse Marx and I talk to Humeid in the “Voice of San Diego Potcast,” a new podcast series we’re trying out. We mainly focused in on what’s next for the delivery service industry, but also touched on what the 2018 election means for cannabis and more.

Legal marijuana will change the culture of California. We want to track that shift. Got thoughts about future Potcast topics? Email Marx.

SDPD Revamping Police Officer Recruiting

The San Diego Police Department can’t hire enough new officers.

The Union-Tribune reports that the “chronic struggle with police officer vacancies is continuing to worsen despite large pay raises approved in December.”

The issue has prompted police officials to completely overhaul recruiting policies in an attempt to attract more officers.

There may not be one single explanation for SDPD’s failure to hire enough officers, but former Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman has often blamed the media’s focus on police misconduct as one reason for recruitment troubles.

In a recent podcast episode, the new San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit talked about the recruitment issue. He said there are already signs that the pay raises are working, but also said hiring has suffered from more people thinking the job is too dangerous. “There’s more attention on it, but I’m not blaming the media at all,” he said.

In Other News

Mayor Kevin Faulconer joined 10 other mayors in Sacramento Wednesday to introduce a state bill aiming to invest $1.5 billion of the state’s budget surplus in homelessness solutions. Four San Diego legislators were co-authors on the legislation, which would create a block grant program and give cities with larger homeless populations more money.

At least five people have applied to become the next superintendent of the San Ysidro School District. The district has burned through six superintendents since 2013. Several were ousted in scandals. (Union-Tribune)

San Diego State University has put together  the “Aztec task force,” a group of students, staffers and community members who will decide if the Aztec mascot is fine, or a little racist. The members of the group, though, will not be named. (10news)

Qualcomm made a defiant move Tuesday. Wednesday, Broadcom responded. It’s the latest development in the ongoing Broadcom buyout saga. (Associated Press)

 The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department says it’s investigating an accusation of inappropriate conduct against Assistant Sheriff Rich Miller. (NBC7)

• Cosmopolitan profiled Encinitas’ Sara Jacobs who, at 29, would be the youngest woman ever elected to Congress if she wins California’s 49th district. Jacobs said Doug Applegate, one of her Democratic rivals, is a “crusty old Marine.”

Library fines could be a thing of the past. (Times of San Diego)

A scrappy little border wall near downtown Calexico is being replaced with a much bigger, more solid border wall. It’s the first wall contract awarded by the Trump administration outside of the eight prototypes in Otay Mesa. (Associated Press)

Yup, houses, especially the crazy-big kind, are expensive in San Diego. (Los Angeles Times)

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