Despite an enormous projected budget deficit, San Diego's City Council votes to keep the ball rolling on the new City Hall project.
The City Council voted five to three on Monday to begin exclusive talks with Portland-based developer Gerding Edlen. The projected costs of the plan are currently at $432 million. The current structure was built in 1964.
The council can still back out of the deal if the building will cost the city more than current lease and maintenance costs.
Council members Carl DeMaio, Donna Frye and Sherri Lightner objected to the negotiations in part because there was no requirement that the project go before voters for final approval.
"If it's such a cool thing and a great deal, then we should want a public vote," Frye is quoted saying on the voiceofsandiego.org.
San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders has said the project would be put to a citywide vote even if San Diego is not legally compelled to do so.