Morning Report: The Plan to Spread Parks Money Around
San Diego is proposing a park fee overhaul to improve some of the city’s saddest parks.
The proposal is also being used as a tool to encourage developers to build affordable housing near public transit, reports VOSD’s Mackenzie Elmer.
The plan would offer discounts to apartment projects built for low- and median-income renters or owners and if developers include a park on the property.
The new fee proposal would also funnel a big chunk of the new money it would generate in the first five years to lower-income and historically underserved neighborhoods.
Under the current system, the city’s neighborhoods each collect fees from developers within their own boundaries and charge something different, which has largely led to poorer, older neighborhoods that are already built out collecting less money to improve their parks than richer, newer communities with more development.
Mayor Announces New Plan for the City’s Infrastructure Woes
Mayor Todd Gloria unveiled a plan to borrow $145 million to address the city’s infrastructure needs in the next fiscal year, which includes roads, library, drainage and park upgrades and repairs, City News Service reports.
Earlier this year, city staff estimated it had $5.7 billion worth of infrastructure needs and didn’t have all the money it needed to address the issue. In February, the city estimated it had $3.4 billion to spend on fixing its infrastructure needs, leaving a $2.3 billion gap, KPBS reported at the time.
As we’ve reported, it’s been increasingly clear that a bulk of the infrastructure problem comes from the city’s busted stormwater system.
Police Oversight Ordinance Will Get a Re-Do
The City Council’s Public Safety & Land Use Committee agreed Thursday to send a plan to strengthen police oversight back to the drawing board. Their vote followed pushback by supporters of Measure B, the successful November ballot that promised to create a Commission on Police Practices with the ability to independently investigate police use-of-force incidents, misconduct allegations and make broad policy recommendations, among other powers.
Dozens of people phoned in to the committee meeting to express concerns that Measure B’s implementation ordinance, written by the city attorney’s office and released earlier this week, fell short of meeting the goals of the initiative. They urged the committee to consider a different implementation ordinance written by Andrea St. Julian, co-chair of San Diegans for Justice and author of Measure B.
At a community meeting Tuesday evening, St. Julian described the city attorney’s draft as having “the potential to absolutely gut” the new commission.
The committee chair, Councilwoman Monica Montgomery Steppe, emphasized that the draft was just that — a draft — and promised to work with Measure B’s supporters and the city attorney’s office to revise the ordinance to address community concerns. Her colleagues agreed.
“We all want the Commission on Police Practices to provide very robust oversight of the police department,” said Councilwoman Marni Von Wilpert.
In Other News
- Last weekend, people associated with a Coronado High School basketball team threw tortillas at the opposing team from Escondido. Los Angeles Times columnist Gustavo Arellano considers the long, strange history of tortilla-tossing and writes that it’s “almost never racist — until dopes make it so.” Meanwhile, state Sen. Ben Hueso sent a letter to the California Interscholastic Federation asking that Coronado’s basketball championship be revoked.
- The ZIP codes where residents have the best chance of receiving rent relief include Rancho Santa Fe, Poway and Little Italy/Gaslamp — some of the wealthiest in the county. (KPBS)
- Property owners in Logan Heights say the nonprofit that manages the area’s maintenance service, which they pay additional taxes to fund, has fallen short of its task. (Union-Tribune)
- Joel Day, a former city official and candidate for the City Council, explains in an op-ed why he won’t accept a police union endorsement and why he doesn’t believe any candidates should.
The Morning Report was written by Maya Srikrishnan, Kelly Davis and Jesse Marx, and edited by Sara Libby.