Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Roundtable: Breaking Down San Diego Ballot Measures

Roundtable: Breaking Down San Diego Ballot Measures
Stadium Initiatives, Police Oversight, Encinitas Measure T, Election Reform GUESTS:Erik Anderson, environment reporter, KPBS News JW August, investigative producer, NBC 7 San Diego Alison St John, North County reporter, KPBS News Andrew Bowen, metro reporter, KPBS News

The future of the charges and send it will head to the ballot box. Will voters room for the home team? Police oversight would increase if Measure G passes. Increased density could help solve housing and environmental issues in the region. How residents will vote? I am Mark Saur. KPBS Roundtable starts now. Welcome to our discussion. Joining the at the Roundtable today is Eric Anderson and JW August , environment reporter, KPBS News. Alison St John. And Andrew Baldwin Mench reporter for kpbs. A decade's worth of about a new football stadium comes to a head on election day. Measure C would raise hundreds of millions from two hours for a new stadium/convention center expansion downtown. Start with the basics here how much for the stadium overall and how much for major -- Measure C. The big thing to think about is it is just a proposal a lot of the pictures you have seen of a stadium is an idea and it hasn't been designed yet. What it does it creates a mechanism that allows the city to move forward to held a football stadium in downtown. It is identifying the location. The location is near the library by Petco Park. It raises the tourist occupancy tax. From 12 and have % to 60 and half %. That figures out to about $1.2 billion roughly that the city can borrow with some additional money from the charges and in a felt that would be enough to build the stadium convention Center complex. It's not just for 10 football games a year we will have all sorts a big conventions that would spill -- The idea is to create additional demand for hotel rooms. Another big selling point is the tourist will pay for this thing. It will not come out of the taxpayers, is not true in the long run? There are different analysis of the proposal. Some of them look at that and say the financials are a little too rosy in the is a chance that the city may be on the hook. Some of it look at it and say a kind of pencils out and make sense. In many cases, it depends on how you ask. The Chargers hired a team to work at it and they said it would raise a lot of money for San Diego. The Sandeno County taxpayers Association looked at it and said they were concerned about it. The hotel industry, which supposed to the measure looked at it and said it's not going to generate the kind of revenue that we need to cover the annual cost of the project. They don't like it very much. It depends on who you ask. It is a thing where you really don't know until it's actually in motion. Along the opponents seem to say this is money that we are taking money away from road repair. That is not exactly to because it's coming from the hotel room tax, which otherwise would be going into the general fund. This like where's getting this extra tax money in and instead of spending it on other things that we should be spending it on, we are spending it on a stadium. That is an excellent point. It is a huge tax increase. It is a significant tax increase that changes away tourism marketing responding here in Senegal. That money if it was to go into the general fund you can use it for libraries, streets, any civic purpose and you will raise all this money but it's never going to see the general fund. One of the questions I have is under Measure D that money will be raised by the tourist tax but it does not mean that you will have to build a charger stadium. So someone who is thinking while we could use more money to fix the pot holes but the city -- that the city needs but it might be that the -- if you voted for Measure D you might get that. Measure D is a different proposition. It is clearly -- there's no question that that's what everything around it is designed for. The convention center space it's a ancillary item designed to make it more profitable. Measure D is a different proposition that looks at a number of different things around the city of San Diego. And also raises tourist tax. Yes. Not as high. That money goes directly into the general fund where the city can use it for anything. Measure D creates a guideline for development in several key areas. And Mission Valley, the Qualcomm Stadium would create a plan for exactly how that gets done. Would suggest selling the land to universities like Sandi Cole state and create a River Park and possibly renovate the stadium or build a new stadium. No public money would be included for that. It would allow for the construction of a downtown stadium or stadium in Mission Valley but not allow for the use of public projects. That measure is pretty confusing. I think that will be a problem. As the independent budget analysis did they fight in both cases that there was no way to determine whether there is a positive flow to the city? What they looked at was a range of possibilities. In that range of possibilities, the city could be forced to kick in extra money. The project could also possibly under that scenario with how the economy does it could pay for itself also. They're just think it's in that range of possibilities. I do not see their analysis on Measure D but the thing about Measure D is it restricts expansion of the convention center downtown. It doesn't allow for continuous expansion on the waterfront. So it would require -- I did want to make one point about Measure D. Say Measure C would fail and Measure D pass the NFL say -- says it will not put up their share to build the stadium because we are considered a smaller market and without public money the NFL will not partner on that when. That is something that they have said. The NFL is not clear on that proposal. They have been very clear on Measure C. Both of these apparently have to reach a two thirds threshold, right? Is not likely? It depends on who you talk to. I think it's fairly clear that Measure C requires that two thirds. Measure D is different because it does raise taxes and raises the tourist tax but put that money directly into the general fund and allows for some funding to be removed for a convention center expansion or construction of the spark. It's a little bit different. I think that's were some of the legal dispute is. I think with Measure D if it does get that 50% to pass, and it is approved it will face some sort of a legal challenge. We will see what happens on election day as we are only 11 days out. We will move on a ruling this week by a federal appeals court in lawsuit against the San Diego police to proceed over a pair of fatal shootings by officers. Start with these two cases they were a few years back and give us -- Victor Ortega was shot twice and Alfred Olango was shot in the back. They did not investigative. The agreed that they were in fear of their life. They did not file charges? So we are talking about civil lawsuits your. Correct. If you take so many's life that is the ultimate civil rights violation and a both cases two different judges. Both move forward and found enough evidence of consistencies in the police reports that they wanted to move forward with the case. In both cases the city attorney appealed and went to the court I watch the entire 35 minute grilling by the judges and they found inconsistencies of what the police said. There was a city attorney and they argued that there were no inconsistencies. But if you look at the medical examiner's report and the path of the bullets were the into the body where they ended up. It sounds in both cases that both of the dead men were in positions where the police had control of them. So these ruling by the ninth circuit Court of Appeals put it back into federal court in San Diego and what they're saying is basically there's enough questions here let's let a jury take a look at this. Yes, they are not saying [ Indiscernible - multiple speakers ] there's enough questions here that a jury could find fault with this department. Tie this back to our theme today which is the election and local issues here . This is does relate to this upcoming city election and we have made -- Measure G on the ballot. Tell us about that. It is a review board in attempt to make it more transparent. -- They would review police shootings? Correct. The use only review items brought to them by a internal affairs. I've been covering them for five years off and on and we've got to the point where it is evolving. I cannot take sides of the measure but I think the key to this measure is the city attorney's office will no longer provide the legal advice or they have the opportunity to rule the city -- [ Indiscernible - multiple speakers ] That's what people -- so this measure came from this and a grand jury report said there's a conflict of interest that the city attorney is representing the citizens review board while the same office is representing the San Diego Police Department. It would seem like a conflict. Apparently it is not meet the legal classification for conflict of interest but what Measure G does it allows the city Council in the future to reform the citizens review board more easily. There's no -- the city Council chose not to go that extra mile and say absolutely we want to have independent representation all the time and we want to give them subpoena cover. Is out why critics are saying this is week. It is not wear need to be but there is a start. There has been a revolution in that board of. Is anybody opposing this? I don't think so. There was no argument filed against it in the ballot. The people who actually brought it forward who wanted this reform to happen, they say it doesn't go far enough, but we will still supported because we see further down the line we can make more of an impact advocating for greater reform of the city Council. I saw the women occupy go to the board and talk to them. I saw their faces and I talk to them after the board blew them off and I knew they were angry. That motivated them to become the face of this change. Up to them these were white women, middle-class, housewives. So because of who they were and that they were organized and able to move this forward. They deserve credit for bringing this to the public's attention. At the review board doesn't have a long track record in San Diego of actually finding fault with police shootings. The shootings and the incidence that they have been asked to review so how does this move them into an area where they can take a more objective view? I don't think it does. I think that [ Indiscernible - multiple speakers ] it leads that decision to make it more independent down the road and it will make another reform a little bit easier because now the mayor and the city Council together have the responsibility. That is a key element because it used to be the mayor reporting appointed people. Sanders was the mayor of the time when someone wasn't reappointed and Judy Lichtenberg talked about what she saw as an attorney happening inside the CRP and was quite eye-opening. It looks like this is not a lot of opposition so it will be up to future Council to see if they put some teeth in this and what it becomes. I think so the woman occupy said will come back to counsel and talk about it again. Let's turn now to another issue before voters. Measure T deals with housing density a critical issue everywhere . Start with white in Sydney this is unique and send Eagle County and what the measure is supposed to remedy. It is the only jurisdiction in San Diego County that does not have a state approved housing a limit, which is a plan to increase density. We know we will get more population so every city has to have a plan. So Encinitas passer proposition that said that anything that was against the general plan had to go to the voters. The voters are holding the city hostage and they have a very hard time reaching agreement on where the density should happen. Rather than just the city Council voting on it, which is the case in San Diego they have to put it to the whole vote. The Council of five of them are supporting this. They said we put this in spent almost $1 million and we've been sued because we will have this plan. This is the most sustainable plan. It is still unclear whether it will pass because if you walk around Encinitas there are no signs then yes signs. What is the big argument against -- Residents feel that we are the last coastal village. They want -- they don't want to lose their character and they had a red balloon that showed the new height limit. They said this will cut off the ocean views from the library and it will change our community character. I think they feel like the development community has had a hand in this. There was suspicion that somebody else would profit on the density. The fact of the matter is the city has to have a plan and nothing will necessarily get built. It doesn't get voted in I think on their license -- lawsuits lined up? Up until now it's been the development community and the building industry Association that has sued the city. Now and environmental attorney is jumping into say I will see you because I think this is a good plan and I've spent my life trying to fight back developments but now I've spent my life trying to fight for developments that are a good when. If you go around Encinitas and as people -- of course you want to keep this small seaside village. Is that even sustainable? This like soil -- lifestyle that we've enjoyed, can we even sustain that lifestyle because we have more people moving here and with a very limited supply of housing it will just get more and more unaffordable for everyone. They do have quite a bit of money because they have high property value so they can pay these lawsuits and fight. The fact of the matter is that every jurisdictions attempt to play its part in what the whole region is facing, which is growth. Why should Encinitas be the one that gets away with [ Indiscernible - multiple speakers ] In Sydney this property values are so high that people are concerned that this higher density is going to hurt their property values? That is obviously part of it. They talk a lot about quality of life, but I think if you have a high-rise multifamily home, it would affect your property value. That is an interesting point because we all talk about the housing affordability. That benefits homeowners. Homeowners are benefiting from the affordable housing crisis because that means that their property that you's are going up and they will get more money from their homes. The other point to remember is there luxury condos. They will still be over half $1 million so it may not ring down the house prices that much because I think they will be very high-end. It will take a massive boom in construction and lot more to have a real impact on the small affordable housing. Is anybody doing this right. We sent is issue everywhere so who's doing it right? North Park did increase housing density significantly. A community that I think is a lot more welcoming and density. They've seen the revitalization that it can bring to businesses making it more walkable and having more people packed in can sort of create a village. If North Park is doing it right, maybe it's still very expensive there. I think -- lookup San Francisco there's a lot of dense housing. We will see what happens on this issue. We will move on now but we will see the aftermath. He won an election in the June primary. That could be the last election with Sunni politicians. What is it Measure K? I think maybe it will help to look at how we vote our state and federal representatives into government. So when you are voting for Congressman, Senator or state assembly member, you bow in the June primary and in November the top two winners in our primary runoff in the general election. As you mentioned the city election allow somebody to win in June if they get a majority of the votes. So it would align the city rules with the state and federal rules forcing in November runoff no matter how many vote to get June. And Measure L is a sibling to Measure K Similar idea also modeled on state legislation that happened a few years ago. So basically it would require ballot initiatives and citizens initiatives when you gather signatures. Those have to be voted on in November unless the city Council takes special action. The idea is to do it pretty sparingly. It goes in the demographics of who votes in the two elections. June is a certain voter profile in November is a different voter profile. Especially if it is a presidential election year. The roots of Measure K go back a year ago when the Democratic Party were having a really tough time recruiting a candidate to run against Kevin Faulkner. There feeling was if only they could guarantee a candidate could make it to the November runoff election then they would have better chances at winning the mayor's race. The reason is that voter turnout tends to be a lot higher in November and it tends to be a lot more progressive. There are a lot of minorities, young voters who don't pay attention when the June elections are happening. Also independent voters who don't feel like they have a role to play when you are electing a party nominee. So if you force the November election then we are going to have a more sort of democratic system. How did this get on the city ballot went That discussion laid dormant for a while. Not a lot of movement happened. This last summer a group called the independent voters Project went to the city Council and asked we want you to put this on the ballot and ask for the city because it would require a reform of the city's charter and require a referendum. We want you to write some rules and say let's have November runoff. Measure L was another nonprofit group that advocates for social justice and things like that. It went through this existing process by which anyone can go up to city Council and say can you please is on the ballot. Some of the criticism is that it went through this expedited process and it did not have a very long laid the review. Opponents to Measure K attorney team they say other cities have led long campaigns breaking out -- reaching out organizations and speaking to different citizens. This was fast tracked through the city Council and notes on the ballot. Who is a post? It's interesting now because a lot of the arguments for and against us were sort of party system -- partisan. No one is making the argument anymore except the sides are still the same. It is a Democrats and labor organizations that are opposed -- Democrats are supporting Republicans are opposed. It's nobody making the partisan argument but it falls almost exactly -- Is a going to pass? I think it is very likely. Micah feeling is telling me it is likely. Will take a look at that one. But does wrap up another week of stories at KPBS Roundtable. I would like to think my -- say thank you to my guests. all the stories are available on Check out the voter guide on our website. You can get all you need to make informed choices with our voter guide at I'm Mark Saur. Thank you for joining us on the Roundtable.

San Diego Measures C and D

A decade of discussions over a new stadium for the San Diego Chargers come to a head on Nov. 8. If Measure C passes, the team stays, right? But it's not so clear what happens should the measure fail. Will the team go to Inglewood? Will they reconsider Mission Valley?

And how does Measure D figure in? The complex measure would raise hotel taxes, like Measure C, but would block public money for a stadium. We look at the future of professional football in San Diego.

Police Shootings and San Diego Measure G

A ruling this week by a federal appeals court will allow two lawsuits against San Diego police officers to proceed. They deal with the shooting deaths of Victor Ortega in 2012 and Angel Lopez in 2013. The City of San Diego sought the have the cases thrown out.

Cases like these, and the recent shooting of Alfred Olango by police in El Cajon, shine a light on the issue of police oversight. Measure G would offer some improvements. But is it strong enough to make a difference?

Encinitas Measure T

Cities all over San Diego County and elsewhere are grappling with a common problem: how to grow. Even so, all San Diego cities have managed to come up with a plan to meet their increasing housing needs, as required by the state, except for one.

Encinitas is looking to change this with Measure T, which would allow for greater housing density. But there's a lot of resistance. How will Encinitas keep its "character" while still complying with state law?

San Diego Measures K and L

Measures K and L would shift some San Diego city elections from June to November, when more people tend to get out and vote. And would require runoff elections in November for the positions of mayor, city attorney and city council. Currently winners can take all in the primary, if they get more than 50 percent of the vote.

Democrats on the city council support the measure. Republicans are opposed. We discuss why on the Roundtable.

Explore all national, state and local returns now.