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City Council To Vote On Appointment Process, TMD Agreement, Immigration

Members of the San Diego City Council this week will take up two issues that have been points of contention for Mayor Bob Filner. First they’ll tackle the flap over Port appointments. Then they’ll move on to the Tourism Marketing District.

The San Diego City Council this week will take up two issues that have been points of contention for Mayor Bob Filner.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Port of San Diego.

On Monday, councilmembers will vote on whether to change their policy for appointing people to positions like Port commissioner. The vote stems out of confusion over the City Council's method for making appointments to the San Diego Port Commission.

The council approved one resolution to fill two vacancies at the Port in January, appointing a Democrat and a Republican. But Filner vetoed that decision, saying the selection process was flawed.

Now the City Council will vote on a new selection process. The process would be:

1) There shall be one pool of nominees for both vacancies.

2) Two separate votes shall be taken for each of the vacancies.

3) At the conclusion of each round, candidates receiving the lowest number of votes shall be eliminated.

4) When a candidate receives a majority of votes, that candidate shall be appointed to the position.

The City Council still has not filled the two Port vacancies. This leaves only one San Diego representative on the seven-member board.

On Tuesday, councilmembers will then take up another issue that led to fireworks a few weeks ago: a contract between the city and the Tourism Marketing District.

The City Council re-authorized the district in November under former Mayor Jerry Sanders, but Filner refused to sign off on the deal, which would start the flow of funding. The TMD is funded by a 2 percent surcharge on hotel rooms and uses the money to advertise San Diego as a tourist destination.

The standoff led to a failed lawsuit by the tourism district's board, the City Council passing a resolution requiring the mayor's signature and Filner accusing councilmembers and City Attorney Jan Goldsmith of being "bought out'' by the hotel industry.

Filner, the City Council and the TMD appeared to have come to an agreement last week. The final terms of that agreement will be up for a vote Tuesday. The new terms include:

  • A five-year contract with the TMD.
  • At least 20 of the largest hotels in the TMD agreeing to "hold harmless, indemnify, and defend" the city of San Diego from any and all claims by that hotel or its successors and refund the collection of TMD assessments.
  • The TMD agreeing to hold harmless, indemnify and defend San Diego "from any damages arising from third party claims against the City resulting from any operation of the TMD Corporation, including the distribution of TMD funds other than those collected from the indemnifying hotels."
  • The TMD posting agendas, reports, tax forms and grant information "including recipients’ entire application for TMD Corporation funding" to its website. It will also post performance reviews of grant recipients.
  • The TMD will "encourage and expect" an application from Balboa Park Centennial Celebration for up to 10 percent of TMD assessments per year for fiscal year 2014 and 2015.

The agreement will also release funds to the TMD.

Also on Tuesday, the City Council will vote on a resolution "supporting a reasonable and comprehensive approach to reforming the currently broken immigration system."

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