Sitting in on Papa Doug’s Gathering of the Elite to Chew on the Election of Kevin Faulconer

by on December 2, 2013 · 6 comments

in Editor's Picks, Faulconer vs Alvarez, Government, Politics, Voter Guide Special Election

tweed_voteBy Jay Powell

Last week Voice of San Diego CEO Scott Lewis reported (“Stadiums and Pensions,” November 27) that he had been informed by a reliable source that Papa Doug Manchester was hosting a lunch for “a group of the city elite” on Monday, December 2nd to “strategize on how we can best move San Diego forward in support of Kevin Faulconer as Mayor.”

He confirmed that the invite was authentic and quoted from it:

“ We all know the need to preserve and protect San Diego from losing the Chargers, fix the pension system, and create incentives that will allow San Diego to reach its full potential and recover from what we have experienced over these past several years…”.

Scott did a fine job showing the irony of some other these assertions and reprised the exchange between Sanders and Manchester when they last convened in La Jolla to pick Kevin Faulconer as the candidate for the elite. Scott then queried his readers to write him and let him know “if you were at this U-T (lunch) meeting, what would you say should be the top priorities for city government in coming years?”

I dutifully replied that if I was at the lunch meeting with Papa Doug and the other “city elite” this day (Dec 2), it wouldn’t be me…

but let’s just pretend for a moment that I was a person who was invited and attending…


Here is what that “other guy” would probably have to say (imagine we are sitting at an ocean view window at the Valencia Hotel above the Cove):

 “We need to marginalize Bill Fulton’s new Planning and Sustainability and Economics department with a token budget to spin around in circles. Let’s get back to the any-development-at-any-cost Development Services Department (DSD) that had evolved in the latter years of Jerry Sander’s administration — the one that brought us the Centrepoint and the Sunroad II and the North Park Jack in the Box and recommended a general plan amendment to build a power plant across the freeway from Mission Trails Regional Park and played patsy with a developer who wanted to circumvent the voter approval requirement of the 1985 citizens Managed Growth Initiative to build an urban development on designated open space in the floodplain of the San Dieguito River Valley.

And most important, a DSD that will give us all the green lights for the transformation of Papa Doug’s old Mission Valley U-T building into a multi-mixed-highest and best use maximum return on investment extravaganza in the San Diego River floodway. And we want video billboards on it that are at least as big as the ones in Times Square facing the freeway.

Let’s bring back the folks on the 11th floor who brought a proposal to the Rules Committee at the last minute in June last year to lease city owned, Pueblo lands for a 25 and option for another 25 year lease to a Canadian company for an 850 MW (megawatt) gas fired power plant on designated open space next to the Miramar National Cemetery.

And, come on, really take the “Action” out of the “Climate Action Plan”. Let somebody else worry about the frickin’ fryin’ planet for cryin’ out loud. We got plenty of places to bulldoze and bury trash. We can boil sea water with electricity from the power plants we want to build for water. And we want our new Mayor to stuff all this silly talk about transit and bikes and walking.
Your talking about slowing down traffic for heaven’s sake!

The only transit we need is up to the skyboxes in the new downtown stadium. We have all the bogus economic studies we need to push ahead with the finest of the worst ideas for a multi purpose sports palace in any metropolitan area in the US of A. Can you imagine what an economic power house Los Angeles might have been if they had an NFL team these past several decades?

I don’t like the shipyards either ’cause they’re just in the way of the Papa Doug super bayfront plan but by golly if that Barrio Logan Community plan isn’t overturned soon, it’ll be goodbye US Navy payroll. Next thing you know they will be taking down our wonderful kissing sailor statue.

Speaking of downtown, as long as Papa D can do whatever he wants in Mission Valley and in the open space around his Grand Hotel and on the bayfront, our downtown deserves to live in the manner to which they have become accustomed. That means whatever we invent for financing infrastructure has to put downtown first. If there is any money left over, the other communities will get their share based on their per capita earnings.

Not to mix my maritime metaphors, but let’s get this city ship back on course, right full rudder, steer 180 degrees from whatever direction those crazy community activists thought they were heading last November.

Oh, thank you, I would like another, but this time just wave the olive over the vermouth bottle. And can you do something about that crappy smell coming in from the Cove? “



Jay Powell

Jay Powell, an occasional contributor to San Diego Free Press, writes about energy, neighborhood and community redevelopment and other challenges and opportunities for peace and productive cooperation in our times. He serves as “environmental advocate” on the City of San Diego’s Sustainable Energy Advisory Board.

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