Councilwoman Zapf Votes the Party-Line for a Special Election

by on June 15, 2017 · 3 comments

in Ocean Beach

Councilwoman Lorie Zapf voted the Republican Party line on Monday, June 12th, which was to support Republican Mayor Faulconer’s bid for a Special Election. Zapf represents Ocean Beach, Point Loma and much of the beach area in District 2.

Zapf joined the other Republicans on the City Council to oppose a measure that was against holding a special election in November 2017. The final vote tally that day was 5 to 4 against the special election, and Zapf and the other GOP members lost that vote.

Yes, the entire Council voted their ‘party lines’, and there’s 5 Democrats on San Diego’s legislative branch. But this is all in the context of some severe partisan actions and reactions going on in city politics of late.

Faulconer had vetoed the Council budget on Friday, which had left out $5 million of funding for a special election, and he used the old fall-back accounting procedure of ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’ – but with a partisan twist – and proceeded to punish those Democrats on the Council who opposed his special election. (More on that in a second.)

The push for a special election comes very notably right after the general election this past November where 66% of voters passed Measure L, which stipulated that a special election could only be called for an emergency.

So, Zapf, along with her Republican colleagues, voted directly against the will of the voters earlier this week on the 12th.

Then on the following Tuesday, the majority on the Council tried twice to over-ride Faulconer’s veto, but needing 6 votes, failed. Zapf was absent that day but had sent out a memo that she would have opposed the effort to overturn the veto.

So, in the short run, the Mayor’s vindictive budget stands. But even though Faulconer had restored the $5 million for a special election for this November, the special election will not take place because of the 5-4 party line council vote against it on Monday. The SDU-T reported that the “… money will float in the budget as ‘fund balance’ that the council or mayor could choose to spend during budget adjustments late this year, said Andrea Tevlin, the city’s Independent Budget Analyst.”

This is all very problematic for Zapf. Much of the District 2 she represents is blue, that is many of the voters in her district that she represents voted Democratic last November (even Point Loma). So, in order to stay in office, Zapf has to walk a tight-rope  between following the Republican Party line and appearing to represent her mostly-Democratic District.

And on the 12th, Zapf had an opportunity to break the cycle and then again another one the next day. All they needed was one vote to over-ride Faulconer’s veto. It would have been a tremendous show of non-partisanship on her part if she had voted the people’s will. But no, and these votes will likely become targets in the up-coming Council election campaigns.

Now, for Faulconer’s vindictiveness. We quote Doug Porter over at our online partners, the San Diego Free Press:

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer used addition and subtraction to punish the members of the City Council he felt were obstructing his plan to put convention center expansion and a proposal to redevelop valuable Mission Valley real estate before the voters.

The Mayor added $5 million to the city budget to pay for the special election that the council had removed.  And he subtracted dollars destined for projects favored by the Democrats on the Council

 Porter quoted from Voice of San Diego:

[Faulconer] cut more than $300,000 in funding for District 1 (the La Jolla, Carmel Valley area), and more than $350,000 from District 3 (the downtown, Uptown, North Park area) as part of the cuts. The representatives for those areas, Councilwoman Barbary Bry and Councilman Chris Ward, respectively, oppose holding a special election. Faulconer also cut $66,000 for a staffer dedicated to a special committee on homelessness; Ward is the committee’s chairman.

He also cut $413,000 for a new roof for the Bay Bridge Community Center in Barrio Logan. The councilman for that area, David Alvarez, also opposes a special election.

He eliminated funding toward a community choice energy program, a Democratic priority intended to get the city to use 100 percent renewable energy by 2035. Funding for it was specifically proposed by Councilwoman Georgette Gomez, the representative for District 9 who also opposes holding a special election.

No matter where one stands on the question of an expanded convention center or on Soccer City, there is a process that has been established by two out of every three San Diego voters and it was established a mere 7 months ago with the passage of Measure L. No special elections outside the November vote unless there’s an emergency.

This is not one.

There is an emergency in San Diego, however, on the issue of homelessness.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Geoff Page June 15, 2017 at 1:17 pm

Editor Dude, did you try to find out from Zapf’s office what other event she had to attend that was more important than this vote?

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avatar Frank Gormlie June 15, 2017 at 1:54 pm

In her media statement, Zapf only said:

I will be attending a longstanding personal commitment that has been scheduled for the past year.

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avatar Daniel Smiechowski June 15, 2017 at 4:18 pm

Mr. Gormlie, Your analysis of Councilmember Zapf’s reelection prospects in light of this vote and otherwise is not entirely correct. District 2 in my opinion is slightly center right, voters are a forgiving lot, Madame Zapf has enough money in her campaign coffers to take off for a month and vacation in Point a Pitre! Remember, Wayne and Booth had labor’s shekel, every Democratic club and both lost in a landslide. I know my onions, Mr. Gormlie. Put Pease or that SD Charger guy in the General and it would make Napoleon look like a hero at Waterloo. The County Democratic Party would need to be mentally insane to endorse any one of these two far left extremists. Mme. Zapf can be beaten despite her attractiveness, sweetness and folksy manner if attacked from the right and not the left. My opponents have it all wrong! Just ask Larry, Bobby, Tom, Chris or Shumann and Hoy? God bless, Danny

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