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Faulconer To Announce Chargers Task Force Members This Week

Faulconer To Announce Chargers Task Force Members This Week

Photo by Milan Kovacevic

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer delivers his first State of the City address at the Balboa Theatre, Jan. 14, 2015.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer To Talk About Chargers Stadium, Plastic Bags, More


Kevin Faulconer, Mayor, City of San Diego


San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer on Wednesday said he'll announce the members of his Chargers task force this week.

Faulconer told KPBS Midday Edition that the task force, or what he calls an "action group," will research the options available in creating a new stadium for the Chargers.

"What's been missing in this dialogue has been an actual, concrete plan — a financial plan," Faulconer said.

In his "State of the City" address two weeks ago, he said he would appoint a committee to develop a plan to build a stadium for the National Football League franchise that would go before voters for approval. The members would go over the alternatives for a stadium and come up with something that satisfies the team and protects taxpayers.

Chargers officials criticized the idea, contending the issues had already been vetted over the dozen or so years that they've sought a new playing venue.

"My commitment is that we're going to pull some people together," Faulconer said. "We're actually going to have not just a back-of-the-napkin, you know, it's designed to say here's a real plan, here's a plan that will protect taxpayers, here's a plan we think we can move forward with, that the public will be involved in, (that) the public will ultimately approve."

He declined to say how many people would be on the task force, but it will not be "an exceptionally large group." He said the task force will have members who "will bring the right skill set to the table."

In his speech two weeks ago, the mayor said the Chargers were closer to leaving San Diego than ever before. The apparent options open to the task force, he said, are to build a new facility next to Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley or making it part of an expansion of the San Diego Convention Center.

"I said very clearly that I want the task force to look at all of the options that have been done in other cities, to come develop a plan that I think works for San Diego and taking those best practices," Faulconer said. "It has to be a plan that in my judgment will protect taxpayers and it has to be a plan that voters will support."

If the task force is successful, a vote would most likely be scheduled for an election in 2016.

Faulconer also spoke about the San Diego Police Department and a controversial lawsuit its now facing. He said the department would investigate the lawsuit that claims a sergeant was mistreated after he expressed his dissatisfaction with a racist cartoon that shown during a training.

"I think what sets us a part is diversity," Faulconer said. "I have full confidence in our new police chief who is doing a remarkable job and has the highest expectations."

Faulconer touched on the Department of Justice review of the police department that was announced in 2014, and said that report will be released in coming months.

Other issues Faulconer touched on included the plastic bag ban that's now in limbo. He said if the petition to stop the bag ban has enough valid signatures, the city will move forward with an environmental review of the proposal. The City Council will then consider the idea.

Faulconer, who is currently completing the rest of former Mayor Bob Filner's term, also addressed talks about him being a contender for a U.S. Senate seat that will be left open after Sen. Barbara Boxer retires.

"I love being mayor of the city of San Diego," Faulconer said. "I think this is the best job ever. I am not ready for a Senate seat."

City News Service contributed to this report.


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