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Top Stories: Aug. 3-10

These were the most popular Voice of San Diego stories for the week.

Former Mayor Jerry Sanders / Photo by Sam Hodgson

1. Thousands of Employees Face Uncertainty After Supreme Court Pension Case

The California Supreme Court decided that former Mayor Jerry Sanders played such an important role in conceiving of and developing a ballot measure to eliminate pensions for city employees that it was his own proposal. Thus, he should have, as the city’s chief labor negotiator, met with labor unions first to talk about it. The court didn’t invalidate the law, though. It sent it back to the Court of Appeal to decide what to do. With that, the court put the city of San Diego on notice that it could be in for an unimaginably complex series of negotiations and changes. (Scott Lewis)

2. Politics Report: The Woman Who Torpedoed Proposition B

Ann Smith started warning the city it was treading in dangerous legal waters before the landmark pension reform ballot measure even made the ballot. Now she has vindication. Plus: The worst tweet SoccerCity could see. And the actual legal issues in the Port vs. Airport feud. (Scott Lewis)

3. The Decisions That Led to the Spectacular Failure of the Mayor’s Biggest Pursuit

The decade-long push to expand the Convention Center has failed once again. Funding for homeless services is not on the way. Likely more than a million dollars of donations and union dues put into the campaign was lit on fire. Along the way, even as warning signs emerged, several decisions were made to keep going forward. (Scott Lewis)

4. Clairemont Homeless Project Could Foreshadow the Battles and Compromises to Come

Clairemont residents revolted against a plan to build a 52-unit supportive housing project. Mayor Kevin Faulconer and other city leaders are increasingly saying they need to do whatever they can to push those projects forward anyway. (Lisa Halverstadt)

5. The Big Costs Driving San Diego Unified’s Looming Shortfall

San Diego Unified expects to have to cut $41 million for the 2019-2020 school year. Some of the growing costs, like health care, are largely outside the district’s control. But one major cost was very much within the district’s control: extra employee raises. (Ashly McGlone)

6. Opinion: The Airport Authority Is Proving Itself a Bad Neighbor

The Airport Authority’s decision to join a lawsuit against the Port, over a fee that was similarly used to boost downtown San Diego attractions, is particularly troubling because it came without any meaningful notice or attempt to work out differences.(Ann Moore)

7. National City Officials Can’t Hide Their Disdain for Police Protesters

Often when a citizen dies in police custody, officials respond with messages emphasizing civility and respect for all sides involved. But in National City, the mayor and police chief have made no secret of their distaste for activists demanding information about the circumstances surrounding the death of Earl McNeil. (Jesse Marx)

8. Government Kept Migrants in Custody Long After They Were Ordered Released

Migrants convicted of misdemeanors for entering the country illegally were still in detention nearly a week after they were supposed to be released from custody, court filings show. (Maya Srikrishnan)

9. Environment Report: San Diego’s in Hot Water

California regulators could make power more affordable for local government-run utilities, county officials are confident new homeowners won’t burn to death and more in our biweekly roundup of environmental news. (Ry Rivard)

10. Convention Center Measure Needs Further Signature Vetting, Unleashing Chaos

The labor and business-backed campaign to place a hotel-tax measure on the November ballot received devastating news Wednesday: The county registrar will need to conduct a full count of signatures, a weeks-long process that could keep the measure off the ballot. The measure was indisputably San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s highest priority. (Scott Lewis and Lisa Halverstadt)

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