The only possible explanation I can generate from my 52 ½ year old, Sponge Bob brain, of why the mayor is now championing the expansion of the Convention Center and espousing the increase to fees and taxes, is he physically changes colors when laying down with any of the following; the downtown power brokers, chamber of commerce, Lincoln club, republican money men, or special interests. What other explanation could be plausible? Why can't we see him for what he is? He is constantly changing color as he slithers from his downtown office to any of his many cronies to get his new walking orders. Who is he? What is he?
If you missed it; the latest revelation from the mayor's office is his "championing" of the expansion of the San Diego Convention Center with a price tag of ONE BILLION DOLLARS and an annual cost of $53 million. How many times can someone change colors before they start to look like a clown?
Who among us made the following statements; I'm opposed to taxes; we need to raise fees; I don't think the taxpayers are ready for new taxes; we need to raise taxes (TOT increase from 10.5% to 15.5%); In today's difficult economy I do not think it fair to raise fees; we need to raise fees for entry into Sea Word, The Zoo, The Wild Animal Park ($1 to $2 surcharge per ticket); we need a 1 % to 3 % tax on food and drink; we need a $5 surcharge for rental cars; I support Proposition 8; and oops, I am opposed to Proposition 8? Can someone catch this slippery clown and put him in a cage before he changes color yet again and we can't see him?
I had to laugh as I read the comments of Port Commission Chairman Michael Bixler who was unexpectedly surprised by the plan to expand the Convention Center and said he had a lot of questions. In a Union Tribune article, September 28, 2008, Bixler said; "There's a process that you have to follow; it's like when a tenant is moving out of an apartment and somebody new is moving in and you, as landlord, don't know who they are." But more than that, Bixler said, he does not know how the convention center plans to pay for an expansion and hotel, which together could cost $1 billion. The port also wants to receive market-rate rent from the hotel of several million dollars a year."
I got another laugh as I watched the mayor's video (1st link above) explaining his reasons for supporting the expansion of the Convention Center during this horrible economic time. His colors changing with every word and phrase; he even keeps a straight face as he details the importance of this "Vital Economic Engine." The list of committee members appointed by the mayor is long and distinguished and stacked with the usual players to ensure his desired outcome is guaranteed.
The spin machine is in full swing as the chameleon champions his cause, changing color with each word and action. Rather than rant on about this latest changing of color by the mayor, I would point to an article written by Don Bauder; who, honestly, I seldom agree with; in the Reader on June 10, 2009, titled: "Convention Liars." Bauder nails everything that is wrong with the chameleon and his latest proposed fleecing of the taxpayer.
I am fully aware of the need for a convention center large enough to attract businesses and conventions that will fill the halls and hotels and bring in needed tax dollars to the City. I understand the desire to be one of the top five convention cities in America. I am not so naive that I do not understand the desire. But for heaven's sake; when is someone going to lead this City and start setting priorities that make sense? The streets and parks in this city are in such disrepair from lack of deferred maintenance and repair; parks, libraries and pools will have to be closed in short order due to budget constraints; many of the city buildings and offices are in need of major repairs or replacement; public safety is as stressed and stretched as any in the nation and the chameleon wants to spend ONE BILLION dollars on the expansion to the Convention Center. The thought process of adding $53 million in expenses to the City's budget to pay for this expansion is nothing short of idiotic and pathetic, when viewed against the budget shortfall of this City and projected revenues for the next several years. Not to mention the Pension Debt and lack of planning for future Retiree Medical expenses.
How is it we have come to accept these types of actions from our elected mayor and city council? Why have we become so complacent we allow a mayor to tell us what we want? What will it take to get people to speak up and demand THEIR NEEDS be met before the desires of the politicians? If you could vote on the priorities of the mayor and city council, what would be your top three priorities? Would the expansion of the Convention Center be on your list, even if I were to allow you to set your top 10 priorities?
It's time to stand up and shout in a loud and firm voice; "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH; GET OUT!!!!" We were looking for a mayor when we got this chameleon.