San Diego

Initiative to Expand Convention Center Fails First Qualification Check

Mayor Asks City Council to Place City-Backed Initiative on November Ballot

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer's latest plan to expand the Convention Center, while helping the homeless and paving roads, could be in trouble.

An early check shows the initiative may not have enough valid signatures to go to the ballot in November.

The Group pushing the initiative turned in more than 114,000 signatures.

They need 71,000 to make the ballot.

But the City Clerk checked a sample of the signatures and found not enough may be valid.

Supporters touted the proposed tax hike as a solution to expand the Convention Center, provide more homeless services and fix our roads.

“We are more than ever dedicated to the three things our initiative would do: repair roads; provide substantial support for homelessness and create more than 7,000 jobs,” said Laura Fink, a spokeswoman for the “Yes! For a Better San Diego,” campaign.

A final count of valid signatures won’t be available for another month.

“Today, San Diego taxpayers dodged a bullet,” said Carl DeMaio, an opponent of the ballot initiative. “City politicians have been colluding behind closed doors with powerful lobbyists to put a fatally flawed tax increase on the ballot and this tax increase is not what it appeared to be.”

The Citizen’s Initiative would only need a simple majority of the vote to pass.

Now, Mayor Faulconer said he will place a city-backed initiative on the ballot as a back-up.

That measure would need two-thirds of the votes to pass.

Both the citizen’s backed initiative and the city-backed initiative could potentially make the ballot.

If that happens, Congressman Scott Peters said the city’s initiative could be deemed redundant and the citizen’s backed initiative would move forward.

The City Council plans to meet Thursday to discuss the issue.

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