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David Alvarez On The Convention Center Kerfuffle

Evening Edition

Above: City Councilman David Alvarez talks to KPBS about Mayor Jerry Sanders' budget announcement and turmoil at the Convention Center.

Aired 4/11/12 on KPBS Midday Edition.

Guests

David Alvarez, San Diego City Councilmember for District 8.

Donna Frye former San Diego City Councilwoman.

Transcript

City Councilman David Alvarez was the only councilmember to vote against the switch from a public corporation booking conventions at the San Diego Convention Center to a private agency.

He told KPBS the reasoning behind his vote.

"The city was taking a lot of the risk and we weren't maintaining some of the authority to control our risks, so there were no safeguards for the taxpayers," he said.

Alvarez said the city has chosen to give control of the Convention Center to hotel owners.

"So my concern was that we're going to be stealing the business from the public entity, the Convention Center, and perhaps moving that business - stealing is not the best word - moving that business to hotels, and what is that going to mean to the Convention Center?" he said. "Is that going to reduce how much money is coming in, does that mean the city will then have to make up that difference, is it going to cost us something? So the safeguards need to be in place."

The switch in control erupted in controversies this week around whether Convention Center CEO Carole Wallace City Councilman resigned from her position.

Alvarez also responded to Mayor Jerry Sanders' last budget proposal.

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