Feb 2, 2018
The November 2018 ballot is going to be packed.
On this week's podcast, hosts Andrew Keatts and Lisa Halverstadt discuss some of the proposals that will likely be put in front of voters this year.
Next week, a City Council committee will hear a pitch from the San Diego Housing Federation to put a $900 million bond measure on the ballot. The Housing Federation wants to raise property taxes to fund roughly 7,500 subsidized apartments for homeless people and other vulnerable, low-income populations.
That many new units won't solve San Diego's housing crisis. But if the measure passes, it could house a significant portion of the city's chronically homeless population.
A measure to hike the hotel tax to fund a Convention Center expansion, homeless services and road repairs will also be on the November ballot. Halverstadt talks about potential opposition to the pitch from two construction groups that could make passing the measure a challenge.
Also on the podcast: Keatts and Halverstadt note that half of Voice of San Diego's staff is sick, which makes running a news website interesting, and chat a bit about the new chief at the San Diego Police Department. Plus, Keatts is still trying to get used to the fact that City Council races are no longer decided in June thanks to last year's Measure K, which requires a November runoff between the top-two vote-getters in the June primary.
San Diego City Councilwoman Lorie Zapf is running for re-election in District 2, which includes Point Loma, Ocean Beach, Bay Ho and Bay Park.
In the second half of the show, Zapf joined Keatts and Halverstadt and shared her thoughts on home sharing, homelessness, the city's possible redevelopment of its Sports Arena land, density in Bay Park and more.
Zapf had a lot to say when it comes to Proposition 47, legislation passed in 2014 that mandated downgrades of certain misdemeanor crimes from felonies to misdemeanors. She said the passage of Prop. 47 correlates with the city's increase in homelessness, and has also caused an increase in crime and open drug use on the streets.
She said there are a few fixes, including tweaking the law so that chronic repeat offenders can more easily face jail time.
On the City Council's failure to pass policies regulating vacation rentals in San Diego, Zapf, who's pushed for strict regulations on home sharing, said she thinks the issue may have to be taken to the voters in order to get anywhere.
"On that particular issue, it seems to be a stalemate," she said. "But what's happening is our neighborhoods are just completely falling like dominoes. And there are turnstiles of tourists living in single-family residential neighborhoods."
Former San Diego Padres general manager Kevin Towers is our hero this week. He helped lead the team to many victories, and died of cancer this week.
San Diego's business subsidy program gets goatted this week. The city doesn't track it well, or have a good system of determining who deserves special assistance, and the benefits rarely go to the city's poorest communities.