SOCCER CITIES

In an extraordinary moment of honesty, FS Investors principal Nick Stone said of the voters of San Diego, “there is no need to enfranchise more people. The people of San Diego love our project.”

Stone was referring to the initiative signatures he paid to collect in order to qualify his special interest initiative.

 

Just six months ago, 66 percent of San Diego voters overwhelmingly approved Measure L, which establishes the policy that local initiatives should be decided in November general elections when the most people vote. In this case that would be the November 2018 election. Nearly three times as many San Diego voters said yes to Measure L as signed the FS petition.

In response to Nick Stone’s assertion that there is “No Measure L debate,” Andrea Guerrero, executive director of Alliance San Diego Mobilization Fund, the author and proponent of Measure L, said the following:

“The decision facing the City Council about whether to call a special election this year is absolutely about Measure L. This is about honoring the will of the voters who overwhelmingly passed the measure to involve more people in the decision-making in this city and stop special interests from manipulating outcomes in off-cycle elections.” Guerrero continued, “Mr. Stone’s statement that there is no need to enfranchise more people is an affront to the people of San Diego. Democracy is our core shared value, and we should always seek to nurture it, not undermine it.”

Stone’s dismissive comments about the voters of San Diego comes as a new poll was released by the San Diego Union-Tribune, which shows support for his project sinking like a proverbial stone.

Among the highlights:

Just 43 percent of voters support “Soccer” City (down from 74 percent in January), and 59 percent say there should not be a special election. In addition, 64 percent of voters want the City Council to seek other proposals.

The poll mirrors community sentiment, as more than two dozen organizations have declared their opposition to a special election.  A diverse coalition ranging from the San Diego Firefighters to the ACLU and the Community Planners Committee have made clear that a special election is not the preferred path.

Last month, San Diego State University broke off negotiations with FS Investors, declaring the project does not meet its athletic and academic needs.

City Attorney Mara Elliott has also raised concerns about “Soccer” City. In a 24-page memo, the City Attorney said the measure doesn’t guarantee San Diego a professional soccer stadium or a river park, and could burden taxpayers with hefty costs for environmental cleanup.

The City Council will take up the “Soccer” City debate in June.

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