Donna Frye released the following statement today in response to reports that last week the Downtown Partnership has negotiated a number of concessions to Measure C that were reflected in a side letter signed by Dean Spanos:
I’m glad for the Downtown Partnership’s recent success in getting Charger concessions to Measure C.
However, even with those concessions, Measure D remains far superior to Measure C for three reasons:
1) Measure D contains those same protections, and even more. And, unlike the Chargers’ concessions in a side letter, Measure D’s protections are actually built into the law and will be legally enforceable.
2) The transient occupancy tax rate under Measure D will be only 14%-15.5%, which is 1%-2.5% lower than the rate under Measure C. So, Measure D leaves the door open for additional TOT capacity in the future to help pay for other public projects and services if the public votes to do so.
3) Measure D includes the necessary voter approval for the Qualcomm Stadium site to be turned into a public river park, for new active recreational park and open space for the public, and a transit-oriented campus expansion for SDSU and UCSD. Measure C does nothing for SDSU/UCSD, or for the future beneficial use of Mission Valley.
Measure D is just better for the greater good of all San Diego.
The public is entitled to know exactly and fully what is being proposed by the Citizens’ Plan. The public should not be limited to a biased analysis or summary prepared by City Hall. The public has a right to know that the taxpayer resources in the Citizens’ Plan can be used to fix roads, sidewalks, and other infrastructure, to help strengthen our police, fire, and lifeguard forces, and to provide affordable housing and homeless services — all through a general tourist tax without earmarks for special interests.
On its face, the Citizens’ Plan protects taxpayers and makes our tourism economy and infrastructure competitive while compelling tourists and the corporations who benefit most from tourism to pay their fair share of what it takes to keep us America’s Finest City. City Hall has refused to do that on its own and cannot be trusted to deliver that message to the voters now. Voters are entitled to read for themselves that the Citizens’ Plan requires the tourism industry to pay its own way.
A letter was sent today to the California Supreme Court on behalf of Donna Frye urging it not to exercise jurisdiction over the Citizens’ Plan for the Responsible Management of Major Tourism and Entertainment Resources. You can read the letter here: 2016-07-22_Supreme_Court.
On July 7, 2016, California Taxpayers Action Network (CalTAN) filed a lawsuit in state court against San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) Superintendent Randolph E. Ward and Assistant Superintendent Lora L. Duzyk to recover pay increases they allegedly gave themselves and other top administrators without Board of Education approval in violation of the California Constitution and laws prohibiting conflicts of interest and abuse of public office. The lawsuit also alleges that Superintendent Ward gave himself illegal retroactive raises. If the lawsuit is successful, the defendants could personally be required to reimburse county taxpayers in excess of $100,000 for unauthorized compensation and pension contributions.
“Self-dealing by public officials, especially at the expense of students and taxpayers, has no place in government,” said CalTAN chairman Kevin O’Neill. “It would be an abuse of the trust that the public puts into these administrators to safeguard scarce financial resources and keep the well-being of students and taxpayers above their own personal interests.”
CalTAN is a statewide non-profit group of volunteers whose mission is to promote sound fiscal policies, practices and business methods by government entities for the benefit and protection of the public.
You can read a copy of CalTAN’s Complaint here: 1_Complaint FINAL ALL.
You can read a copy of CalTAN’s Request for Preservation of Evidence for Use in Litigation here: 2016-07-07_LitigationHold.
For further information, please contact CalTAN’s attorneys in this matter: Cory Briggs 619-497-0021 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Kevin R. Carlin 619-615-5325 (email@example.com).
San Diego’s hotel industry has been trying to defeat several lawsuits filed in 2013, 2014, and 2015 by the San Diego Navy Broadway Complex Coalition to challenge the California Coastal Commission’s approval of an expansion of the San Diego Convention Center on the waterfront (aka the contiguous expansion). SDNBCC contends that the approval is illegal because the expansion violates the California Coastal Act. The Bayfront Hilton Hotel recently went to trial on its defense that SDNBCC filed its lawsuits too late, meaning the lawsuits must be dismissed. After hearing evidence over a three-day period, a judge of the San Diego County Superior Court concluded that the lawsuits are timely and that SDNBCC may go to trial on the merits of its claim against the approval of the waterfront expansion.
You can read the ruling here: Statement_Intended_Decision.
Today Cory Briggs sent a letter to Ray Ellis, a candidate for San Diego City Council District 1, to clarify the effect of the Citizens’ Plan for the Responsible Management of Major Tourism and Entertainment Resources on a downtown football stadium. Last week members of his campaign team made inaccurate statements about the Citizens’ Plan, so Cory provided clarification and offered to meet with Mr. Ellis and his team to educate them about the Citizens’ Plan.
You can read Cory’s letter here: 2016-04-04_RayEllis.
2016-04-05: Ray Ellis responded as follows to Cory’s letter:
Good Morning Mr. Briggs,
Thank you for your letter and reaching out. I agree, we need to continue to have a robust discussion on this very complicated issue.
As a long time season ticket holder, I would love to see the Chargers remain in San Diego, but not by risking jobs, our local economy or precious taxpayer dollars.
Thank you for the offer to meet in person. I don’t think that’s necessary at this time, but may reach out at a future date.
All the best ~ Ray
Raymond G. Ellis