Roundtable Analyzes State Of The City, Chargers & LA Stadium, Sheriff’s Pre-Crime Squad
Friday, January 16, 2015
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What's The State Of The city?
Two issues (the ones with major price tags and opposition attached) generated the most speculation before Mayor Kevin Faulconer's State of the City speech this week: the expansion of the Convention Center and the chances for a new Chargers’ stadium.
The mayor's response to both these long-running, prickly problems was to announce that a task force would look into them and come up with a recommendation by year's end.
Faulconer said he will appoint another task force, this one to make recommendations on closing what he called "the skills gap" between what employers need and workers are trained to do.
He also promised that 1,000 miles of San Diego streets would be re-paved by 2020.
Another area of contention, police and fire salaries, received little mention because contracts with both departments are in negotiation now.
The Chargers And The Stadium
The mayor's announcement of a task force to recommend a final resting place for the stadium provoked some angry comments from Mark Fabiani, the Chargers' counsel, who was quite negative about former Port Commissioner Steve Cushman's involvement.
The Chargers and some fans are also anxious about the proposal by Stan Kroenke, the owner of the St. Louis Rams, to build an entertainment district complete with a pro football stadium and performance venue in Inglewood.
The Chargers could move to the new Inglewood digs. Or Kroenke’s group could move his Rams to Los Angeles. Apparently, either choice is bad for San Diego, depending on who's commenting.
Kroenke has said the new complex will not cost Los Angeles any tax or government dollars. Except the St. Louis Post Dispatch says he expects reimbursement of $100 million in tax dollars over the first five years of operation.
Sheriff's Pre-Crime Squad
Operation Lemon Drop is a program initiated by the San Diego County Sheriff to contact potential “prolific offenders” before they commit felonies.
This is not a replay of Steven Spielberg’s 2002 film “Minority Report.” Rather, it is an attempt to reach some of the 1,175 former inmates who were released in this county under prison realignment without parole or probation requirements.
These offenders, the department has determined, are likely to commit serious crimes and also use the trolley a lot, particularly at the Lemon Grove station.
The Metropolitan Transit System also conducts sweeps at trolley stops in the city of San Diego.
Anyone caught without a trolley ticket during one of these sweeps is questioned, and if warranted, arrested. So far the results of the sweeps have been less than stellar, with just one percent of those interviewed arrested, some for misdemeanors.
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