You Might Not Get to Vote

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Gerding Edlen Development

    You probably feel like you've been hearing the debate over whether to build a new San Diego city hall for years now. (You have!) Well, there's yet another twist.

    Turns out, voters may not have a say on whether a new city hall should be built. Mayor Jerry Sanders has vetoed a plan to put the measure on the November ballot.

    Just over a week ago, the city council decided voters should be the ones to decide if the project should get the green light. The city of San Diego has outgrown its city hall and some say, an upgrade is long overdue

    “Looking at it, as a business decision, I believe, it's the exact right thing to do,” said councilmember Kevin Faulconer.

    Supporters argue that the solution is a proposed 19 story high rise that would cost roughly $300 million. Recently, councilmembers decided to put the project up for a vote on the November ballot. Back then, not everyone agreed with the decision.

    "If everything that is slightly controversial goes out to a public vote, nothing's going to get done in San Diego or California, and our infrastructure will continue to decay," downtown San Diego partnership chairman Scott Maloni said earlier this month.

    But on Thursday, Mayor Sanders sent out a memo saying he'll ask the measure be taken off the ballot. In a letter sent to the mayor, the project developer says there is not enough time or money to fund a campaign in time for the November ballot.

    Recently, Councilmember, Carl Demaio said he had reservations on building a new city hall.

    "Our neighborhood infrastructure is crumbling. But when you look at all the projects the city could pursue, this would not be at the top of the list for San Diegans," Demaio said.

    But supporters of the project argue that a new city hall would save the city millions.
    In addition to space and repairs, the current building also needs fire code upgrades.

    “It's a financial liability for the taxpayers. God forbid there's an earthquake or a fire. There's no sprinkler system in that facility,” Maloni said.

    The project itself doesn't actually need voter approval for it to get the green light. But with the weak economy, the argument was made that voters should have their say on the project.

    The City Council could vote to override the mayor's veto.