The Fuzzy Picture around the Chargers Stadium and Mission Valley

by on April 23, 2015 · 1 comment

in Environment, History, Media, Politics, Reader Rant, San Diego, Sports

black-hole-money1A Reader’s Rant

By Joe Flynn / San Diego Free Press

Editor : The following “Reader’s Rant” by Mr. Flynn is a response to Taking a Wide Lens on Mission Valley by Mary Lydon, published in Voice of San Diego.

A wide angle lens may not be the appropriate analogy for this discussion. It seems a telephoto lens for a close up was used here focusing on providing a stadium for the Chargers. The rest of the picture is fuzzy. What is troubling about these discussions is that they begin and end with the assumption that the city owned land in Mission Valley, now improved with Qualcomm Stadium is “dedicated for sports facility use.”

Perhaps parkland can be dedicated and forever reserved for public park uses, but other city owned land can and should be viewed as a public asset to be used for the most critical public needs. A truly long range view of this taxpayer asset would bring into the consideration other pressing public needs, such as infrastructure. San Diego has miles of streets and alleys in dire need of repair; miles of deteriorated water and sewer lines, and hundreds of public buildings in serious need of maintenance.

Early in the campaign for mayor the line was that no taxpayer money would be used for a new stadium for the Chargers. After the election this line moved to “making sure it was affordable for the taxpayers.”

Failure to repair our streets costs every motorist thousands of dollars in auto repairs annually and costs the city more in terms of litigation and settlements for accidents attributable to faulty streets. Broken water mains are a staple of San Diego TV news coverage with statistics on number of people without water, how long they will be without water and number of gallons of water down the drain. Not covered in those stories are the emergency overtime costs and the need to redo the repair when the line is replaced. All of these very real costs in dollars and quality of life have been lost in the discussions of how to provide a stadium for the Chargers.

If that land is to be developed to raise public funds then other municipal needs should be considered along with sports subsidies. Such consideration would truly represent a broad view approach.

Early in the campaign for mayor the line was that no taxpayer money would be used for a new stadium for the Chargers. After the election this line moved to “making sure it was affordable for the taxpayers.” Again the question has not been whether to build a stadium, but how much it would cost, more specifically how much it would cost the taxpayers. Then the dial moved quickly to include city owned Mission Valley land and the development thereof as means of financing a stadium.

If that land is to be developed to raise public funds then other municipal needs should be considered along with sports subsidies. Such consideration would truly represent a broad view approach.

The recent much publicized agreement with the County of San Diego might lead one to believe that this move cuts our costs. That is only true if you believe that when the city takes money out of one pocket and the County picks the other pocket that we save money in the process. It’s all taxpayer money and that should not be forgotten.

Joe Flynn is a retired City of San Diego Planner

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Avatar John May 7, 2015 at 1:53 pm

Here is the thing Joel. Even if the stadium could be subsidized fully by the Chargers, then folks like you still would gripe about something. It is not really about being concerned with infrastructure issues, more than likely you never said anything until know, but about holding resentment for all of those that have things you lack. Whether those things be physical prowess, handsomeness, wealth or popularity. And I just bet you are also critical of the team PAYING THEIR OWN WAY up in LA if it comes to that. In your mind you want the team to stay her and lose money to get down on your liberal level while all is paid forward with infrastructure needs. So, at least be honest as to why so many obstructionist like you have made this a point all of these years. Admit that unlike the sports fans, who see the tangibility of having events in town that bond family and friends worth rallying to keep the team, you are pretending to play a social robin hood archetype just because of resentment and not real facts about what will truly help the city financially. Geeks don’t rule and they will not this time either as athletes and owners will still make fortunes, date beautiful women and parents will still take their children to games for an experience of a life time. Yes, those same athletes, parents and owners who probably stuffed you in your locker and trashcans while in high school!

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