San Diego Mayor Update: From Chargers Stadium To Homeless Shelters
Our top story on Midday Edition, San Diego has a new, five-year contract at the police department. Discussions under way about a new permit homeless shelter and the citizens Stadium advisory committee tells a Council committee that their financing plan will not include a tax hike hike. There has been lots going on at San Diego City Hall and Mayor Kevin Faulconer is here with an update and to take your calls and questions. The number is one 8888955727 or tweet us at KPBS midday. And Mayor Faulconer welcome. Great to be back, thank you. First of all the Chargers Stadium. The team has made it clear that he prefers downtown. The advisory committee has named Paul calm as the site, as the best place for the new stadium. Will you stand behind the choices made by the advisory committee including the site selection? The committee is doing a lot of great work and the team has also made it clear they would be fine with either of the two suggestions of location and I think that is important we need have the best opportunity for success I think the fact that the city owns the property at QUALCOMM that gives us the best opportunity for success. Particularly when what I cannot control what is happening in Los Angeles, we can control our own destiny here in San Diego and I have always said it's incumbent upon us to get together a plan that does make sense, common sense, sense, gives us our best ability to achieve the result of keeping the Chargers here in San Diego where they belong. A plan that ultimately makes sense for taxpayers, one voters will support. The group is doing a lot of great work a lot of time and effort into it really a coalescing of folks from throughout San Diego this is yes let's make sure we put our best foot forward, best opportunity for success and I'm confident we can do that. Are you going to stand behind their recommendation for the QUALCOMM site? I think QUALCOMM is our best opportunity. Looked at all of the sites downtown versus QUALCOMM, the fact that the proposed site in downtown the city does own the property, NTS does you have to move the bus he argued had to to relocate a bunch of extra cost, I am interested in the best site with our best opportunity for success and I think QUALCOMM offers that opportunity. There is some rumblings that people want to revive the downtown site, not just the Chargers that a number of other interested parties in San Diego who look to that site and are interested in a. Would you say that site is dead now? You are going to support going forward on QUALCOMM site as recommended by the Stadium advisory committee? I think it is important that A we select a slight and we have been an B most important come back with the financing budget which is how you pay for. Look at all the benefits of the QUALCOMM site and I think when you saw the announcement a couple weeks ago, really the opportunity to not only the stadium but how do we open it up to River Park had a week edge close to the trolley, freeway, public transit already there from an earning planning standpoint it makes a whole lot of sense. San Diego and are used to having the stadium there so still a lot of work to be done and as I said we need to put together a plan that is real, works and will be supportive keep in mind we don't have years and years to do it. 'S activities in LA continue on a daily basis. The number to join a conversation with the Mayor Faulconer is 1-888-895-5727. When it comes to financing plan as I said the advisory committee want ask for a tax hike they just gave an interim update to a City Council committee. They haven't presented their entire financing plan but they are going to be looking for multiple funding sources including the seller personal seating licenses. When Mark Fabiani was on the show he said the Chargers had done their research, that it was impossible to sell enough PSL's in San Diego to help with the financing plan in any significant way. Has the city done any research to know how much might be able to be raised that way? I think it is important you look at all of the options and that is what the group is doing because you have to look at all the different revenue streams and where are we right now in terms of this timeframe. Look at not only what has worked in other locations across the country Santa Clara recently, but every every market is different. We have a great thriving business community, corporate community here in San Diego that is very interested in helping keep the Chargers here. I'm very competent provided that opportunity would be participating whether it is naming rights , personal seat licenses I think the answer is it is a bunch of sources of revenue but it has to be done in a manner that makes sense, actually gives you the return on investment to make I think you saw last week we announced the investment banker to test this a give us real world yes this is possible know that particular thing may not be possible but what I have said all along I strongly believe I want the best minds, the fax because I, data driven person, it has to make sense financially. And I'm confident we can do that. Last question about the Chargers. How seriously are you taking this alternative plan to move to Carson? I have always said I think it is something going to happen in Los Angeles. I can tell you when, if it is this year or next year but I said this is been around for a long time. We need to come to a conclusion on this. I think it makes sense if we come to at the right way by having a real plan I think is going to work for us. We talked about this before if it was easy it probably would have been done years ago but when we came together as a community in San Diego with a plan and a package that made sense for Petco Park I think that worked. It is not easy but at the same time it takes political leadership, public support most importantly real financing plan San Diegans can get behind. When you put all that together I think that is our best opportunity for success and that is what I'm committed to. You're expecting the financing plan in May? Timeframe is the next couple months. Again, 1-888-895-5727 is the number to call to join the conversation in San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. The city of San Diego has a new contract with the police department. If that is aimed at bringing compensation for city police more in line with comparable agencies. Meanwhile, San Diego has lost 100 more police officers since last July. Do you believe the new contract will stop that attrition? I do I think it will go a long way for the impact use of the strong support and police officers Association, unanimous support of the City Council yesterday. This is a team effort through and through. The worst thing we could do is bring on bright men and women to our Police Department and after a few years have been transferred to another jurisdiction whether that be Sheriff for others. We want competitiveness is the city I vowed we would be and when we brought this package forward, it is going to achieve the result we are looking for which is ensure we are maintaining the highest possible standards, casting a very wide net on recruitment, the most diverse big city police department in the country and once we hire these folks keep them here and to do that we need to be competitive this five-year agreement goes on long way to achieving that goal and the bottom line is safer neighborhoods, community policing and that is a hallmark of a great city. Something we are united on this as a city I think he will make a huge difference. We have a question on our Facebook page, the question is, why hasn't the San Diego Police Department issued an apology for shooting and for people unaware that the six-year-old pitbull shot in a very controversial encounter with police officers in Pacific Beach what is your take on that? The department is doing investigation as they do with every officer involved shooting I am confident it will be thorough and we will let that investigation proceed obviously any officer involved shooting is serious and department will give it serious review. Some people suggesting officers need more training in how to deal with dogs there is training in Colorado and San Diego should adopt the kind of training for police officers? As someone who continued the effort making sure we give them best parity for them or with everything I am open to great ideas and suggestions. Some critics still skeptical about the compensation package just approved by the police and City Council because so much of it actually comes from higher stipends and holidays. It doesn't really make San Diego police pay competitive. Councilman Alvarez suggests another compensation analysis after the new contract goes into effect. Do you think that is a good idea? We have to constantly do analysis. The fact of the matter is we're not competitive with the Sheriff's Department with with look at total confrontation -- compensation not only to the mayor and the Council everybody voted for unanimously but it was very important to our officers and police officers Association. The wind out of support of the contract if they didn't think it was fair and got us to the benchmark we need. To your point, it is not a static environment. We have to be constantly looking to see how we are doing over the next several years and that is something I am committed to. Yes he will continue to do surveys. Once again, 1-888-895-5727. Another question from William, many San Diego communities are getting restless regarding the continued targeting of racial and ethnic minorities by San Diego law enforcement. Do you currently have a plan to reduce the disproportionate number of stops and arrests the people of color in San Diego and if so what is this plan and how will it work? This is an issue our chief takes very seriously in fact she was before the Public Safety committee a couple weeks ago talking about the department zephyrs, training, even having San Diego State review some data collected which I strongly support. We are very fortunate that we have the type of Police Department we do that is a phenomenal, great job every single day when these men and women are protecting us. We should continue to demand the highest possible standards an approach which we do , and sure we are constantly providing the best training but also most importantly dividing the right supervision. One of the items that has come up since you and I last spoke was a Department of Justice report that came out that really talked about the need for supervisory training particularly at the Sergeant level which was a function of some of the budget cuts that did not allow that to happen. I am very proud of the work the department is doing not only on retaining officers but making sure we are not just having acting sergeants, which is one of the deficiencies the report colder, but individuals deserving into full-time soldier most we can do that with a financially sound healthy Police Department and that is exactly what the chief is doing right now that will make a huge difference in our neighborhoods. When do you expect to see the study results on profiling and San Diego? I know they are involved in a right now that will happen in the next several months. Moving onto a boat coming up today at the City Council, approving , voting to approve a permanent homeless facility. That is supposed to eliminate the need for the temporary winter homeless tent shelters we are familiar with here in San Diego. The problem seems to be that the plan is to use an existing 350 bed facility at St. Vincent de Paul instead of adding beds for the homeless. It seems like it is moving people around. They had lost the funding for those beds so the opportunity and Council will be voting on it this afternoon to actually use the facility that they were going away to use the dollars we were using for temporary tents , let's I have a temporary tent downtown was have people have the ability to have indoor places to live but not just be a temporary bed to give people help and support they need, wraparound services to allow them to make the transition out of being homeless and by the way let's not just do it during the winter, let's do it year round. That will be quite a shift , a very positive one, 11 or housing commission strongly supportive of. I would expect in a few hours that the Council will be very supportive of it so what we will be moving from winter temporary to full-time help 365 days year. A very good thing for us. Some advocates point to another proposal to add 600 beds in a warehouse North of downtown San Diego which would actually be adding beds to our homeless capacity here in the city of San Diego. What you think about that? I am really proud of the work the city Council have worked on the last several years adding notches beds but wraparound services. You look for example the connection to the housing center in downtown San Diego folks thought to begin with. That is working. What we will do with our homeless year-round shelter I know that is going to work as well but we've had our focus not just a temporary bed but more making sure we are bringing mental health services, medical services, counseling service, to help people make the transition. That is best practices seeing working in other parts of the country now in San Diego. I think it's the right approach. We are spending significant dollars on that and I think you will see one the Council supports this it will make a difference in people's lives to me that is why we are doing the. I know you were in Sacramento yesterday talking about San Diego's climate action plan we have questions on that Josh from Clermont is asking, what are you going to do to implement the climate action plan and Alyssa asked the larger question, what commitments are you making to improve the drought crisis. Should we be expecting more severe water research and as we head into summer? Great question let me take the first one first I was on a panel talking about the work we're doing in San Diego. I'm proud of the plan we are putting forward that will go before counsel in the next several months for adoption. We are going to be leaders in the country with the city climate action plan. It's real and I'm proud of the work we've done. We brought all stakeholders together environmental community folks, business communities, when people say it can't be done and can be that as part of what I was talking was talking about in Sacramento we have real, measurable goals. We tied to our general plan and land use decision. I think that's the difference from some of the other plants that haven't been very successful. Our commitment was to have this real, have enforceable, enforceable, have goals certainly stretch goals with 100 percent renewable energy by 2035. We would not have put them in their up I didn't think we could achieve them and it is important as San Diegans. As I was saying yesterday at the panel, our environment, air, water is part of our DNA, who we are as San Diegans. Regard that extremely zealously to make sure we protect our environment. It is something I am confident the Council will weigh in on and adopt. When I took over for mayor, our interim mayor had done a phenomenal amount of good work on it. I think this is an area where we are really showing our leadership in San Diego. And rightfully so. On the issue of the drought and water if you and I were talking before we came on, I would expect further action from the state at some point in the next several months. You saw some came out statewide last week. All of the things, the items we are already doing in San Diego in terms of water restrictions, the one will be no watering within 48 hours after a rain event which we will adopt and implement. We are continuing to conserve but the messages we need to continue to conserve more in the meantime we are moving forward as we talked about on previous occasions pretty significant plans chief among those is water recycling that while not inexpensive it will allow us to help control our own destiny so we are not at the whims of the Metropolitan water District in Los Angeles. When we complete that project not if but when we go to recycle water the city of San Diego we will create a third of our local water supply. That incredibly important for the future years. San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, thank you so much. Great to be here. Thanks.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer joined KPBS on Tuesday for his monthly update on the business of the city. This month's topics included a new stadium, the Police Department and a year-round homeless shelter, among other issues.
A stadium for the Chargers
It's still unclear whether the Chargers will remain in San Diego or join the Oakland Raiders in the city of Carson at a proposed stadium there. Earlier in March, Faulconer’s Citizens’ Stadium Advisory Group decided Mission Valley was better suited for a new stadium than downtown San Diego.
“The fact that the city owns the property at Qualcomm gives us the best opportunity for success,” Faulconer told KPBS Midday Edition. “From an urban standpoint, it makes a lot of sense. San Diegans are used to a stadium there.”
Chargers special counsel Mark Fabiani told KPBS last week that Mission Valley isn’t ideal. The team is also still moving forward with a plan to share a stadium with Raiders in the city of Carson, he said. Backers of the Carson plan say they are validating more than 14,000 signatures for a ballot initiative. They expect to turn those signatures into the Carson city clerk before the end of the week.
“We can’t control what happens in Carson, but we can control what happens in San Diego,” Faulconer said.
The San Diego Police Department
Last week, the U.S. Justice Department released a report on the San Diego Police Department and how it handles officer misconduct. The federal probe found policy gaps, inconsistent supervision and accountability issues that allowed misconduct to go on for years.
Faulconer said San Diegans should continue to “demand the highest possible standards but also, most importantly, providing the right supervision.”
He said Chief Shelley Zimmerman is looking into studying the report further. Any information from another analysis will be released later this year, he said.
The mayor also praised a five-year contract extension with the San Diego Police Officers Association, which the City Council unanimously approved. It will cost taxpayers about $92 million and includes 3.3 percent raises in the final two years of the contract.
“We’re casting a very wide net on recruitment,” Faulconer said. “This five-year agreement goes a long way toward achieving that goal. Bottom line is safer neighborhoods.”
Year-round homeless shelter
Faulconer also touched on a proposed year-round homeless shelter. It could open by July in East Village and would house up to 350 people.
“We’re gonna make a real difference in people’s lives,” he said.