The dark lords of Mission Valley know what’s best for us…. Our daily newspaper says that opponents of the Jacobs/Saunders plan for Balboa Park are being “idiotic”. The paper featured an editorial yesterday entitled “Idiotic, Let Us Count the Ways”. The Editorial Board pasted that label on Councilwoman Sherri Lightner and Congressman/Mayoral candidate Bob Filner, D-San Diego, among others, for their opposition to the current arrangement. Questions about the process involved in approving the plan, its legality and its shaky financial assumptions, apparently weren’t worth considering by the UT’s opinion makers in Mission Valley as they pursued an agenda that is, at its core, anti-democratic and plutocratic in nature.
Opposition in the community was deep and widespread, with comments about the project running as high as 25 to 1 against. Are all those people idiots? There was considerable frustration and anger sparked by the perception that opponents were simply being ignored at every step of the way. It’s not surprising that everyday people started to feel like this scenario was simply a show designed to legitimize the City’s special relationship with a Very Wealthy Individual. Passions ran high, and as our reporter Andy Cohen tried to point out, some individuals –on both sides of this issue– may have crossed the line in terms of expressing their disagreement in polite terms. The fact is that hardly anybody disagrees with the kernel of truth at the center of this debate—that cars need to be removed from the core of Balboa Park. The question was (and is), how do we get there?
The UT-San Diego editorial made it perfectly clear that citizen input will be derided and disparaged in these sorts of instances. Good luck to anybody who dares oppose their grand visions for a shiny new stadium downtown or publisher Doug Manchester’s plans for mega development along the San Diego river—if they called people idiotic for speaking out against the Balboa Park plan, lord only knows what words they’ll come up with for opponents of their own pet projects. [Read more…]