The Widder Curry Is Back and She’s Voting ‘No’ on Proposition ‘C’

by on January 28, 2020 · 4 comments

in Election, Ocean Beach, San Diego

By Judi Curry

I have received a fair number of calls, emails, etc. asking me why I haven’t been writing lately. There are several reasons that I will briefly mention: One is that I have been ill.  Not the flu; not a cold, but something in-between.  As a cancer survivor that went through many sessions of radiation, my bronchial tubes are weaker than normal, and illnesses just seem to fester there for awhile. After 3 weeks of feeling like I was dead – and sometimes wishing that I was – I am 98% better.

Another reason for not writing is that my book Liar, Liar came out in early December and I have been doing some promotions on that – at least until I became ill!

Another reason, and some of you will understand this, is that I have become obsessed with the horrific situation that is in the White House.  Hours and minutes are spent shaking my head in disbelief as everyday unfolds new lies; new restrictions on our rights; dirty air and dirtier water.

I have never felt so ill with everyday happenings in the world.  I once wrote a story about there not being any heroes anymore. After the trials of Brett Kavanaugh; the impeachment hearings of trump – still can’t get myself to call him “president” nor can I even capitalize his name – there are many new heroes emerging, yet the Republican party – which should be called the “trump” party because it no longer represents what the Republican party stands for – refuses to give credence to those telling the truth over those telling lies.

So …I just have been too depressed to write.  (Some of you will be very pleased with that.) However, as I talk to my friends and acquaintances my ire is back in my fingers and it is time to start putting words down on paper again.  And what better place to start than with Proposition C?

How many times are we going to vote against this awful proposition.  Basically, with one major exception it has a lot of merit, but the moment it is tied into expanding the convention center – again – it’s a “No” vote for me.  Yes, we need help for the homeless.  Yes, we need to work on our infrastructure.  But NO! We do not need to raise hotel taxes to expand the convention center.  Supporters think that by having the early election there is a better chance this measure will pass because there is not going to be as much “competition” as there will be with other tax measures in November.

Studies have shown that there is 40% fewer voters in the primary than the presidential elections.  Supporters think that there will be more opportunity for this scam – and it is a scam – to pass.

The ballot measure is talking about increasing the hotel tax from 12.5 percent to as high as 15.75 percent.  Let’s say it passes.  How much of that is going to go to homelessness?  The greatest amount of that money is going to expand the convention center.  The “estimate” is that $3-5 BILLION would pay for expansion from 816,000 square feet to 1.2 million square feet.  It would, so the experts say, probably increase road repairs to $551 MILLION dollars.  So what does that leave for the homeless?  A paltry $1.8 billion for the homelessness.  Are you trying to tell me that the expansion of the convention center is more important than the homeless situation?

This is Mayor Faulconer’s “last hurrah.”  He has been promoting this shameful proposition every since he took office.  Why?  Does he think that those people that are coming to conventions in San Diego are going to stay in hotels where the taxes are so high that they will gladly open up their wallets just to stay in San Diego?  Why even hold the convention in San Diego? They will go places where it is less expensive; when they can attract more people, and the costs will not be so extraordinarily high.

In order for this proposition to pass, it will take a 2/3’s approval of the voters because it is a tax increase.  The city also needs to purchase new land for the expansion.  The heck with the new land for the expansion.  Drop the expansion from the proposition and earmark the monies to the homeless; to roads; to infrastructure and I will vote “yes,” but as long as it includes an expansion of the convention center I will continue to vote against it.  As it is, the convention center is utilized 70% of the year; is spending $3.5 billion dollars for an additional 30% occupancy really worth it?  It is doubtful if the convention center would even be utilized much more than the current 70%.  It’s a complete waste of money.

Where is the bulk of the financing coming from right now to promote this proposition?  Would you be surprised to hear that most of the money is coming from the owners of some of San Diego’s biggest hotels?  Did you know that most of the center is not utilized now? According to Don Bauder, one of the most respected journalists in San Diego, the “ . . . push for an expansion is said to be a ‘citizens initiative.’  It is actually a government initiative drawn up to feed money to downtown plutocrats – the hotel industry.” Bauder said the same thing that others have been saying –“The only segment of San Diego society that will benefit is . . . the hotel industry!”

Thanks Father Joe for touting the benefits for the homeless even though the help they get will be minimal; thanks Mayor Falconer for deceiving us again; Council President Georgette Gomez and Councilwoman Jen Campbell sided with the three Republican members – Chris Cate, Mark Kersey and Scott Sherman in approving the vote.  Wonder what is in it for them.  And, one final “shake your head moment – “  The measure is forecast to bring in $5.9 billion dollars in – drum roll please – FORTY-TWO YEARS!!!!!  You don’t have to be a mathematician to figure that one out.

Sorry.  I’m back.  I’m mad.  And I’m voting “NO” on proposition “C”.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Avatar Scott January 29, 2020 at 1:20 pm

Thank you, I tend to agree that TOT is not the way to go but how else can we fund the expansion?

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Judi Curry Judi Curry January 30, 2020 at 7:10 pm

I do not think that we need the expansion. Spend the monies on the homeless, street repair – and by that I mean streets that REALLY need repair; not repaving over streets that are in fairly good condition to begin with!

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Peter Peter from South O January 30, 2020 at 8:34 pm

How do you propose we raise the money to help the homeless (which is really correcting the problem of affordable housing; lots of people are a paycheck away from sleeping in their car) and provide any other services without a productive tax base. The convention center is too small to attract the major events, and the local hospitality industry knows that without the substantial number of conventioneers paying a little more the tax base will decrease rather than increase to pay for programs such as you describe.
The misuse of funds by the sketchy, trumpy mayor posing with street crews to prove that he is doing what the people demand is an entirely different subject. The bottom line is that we have been wrestling with the convention center and the homeless, and infrastructure and Prop C may well be our best shot.
I will not get to vote on the issue, and in the last year have stayed in San Diego hotels more than a dozen times. I am willing to pay up for the greater good.

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Peter Peter from South O January 29, 2020 at 9:06 pm

“A paltry $1.8 billion for the homeless…” is quite the oxymoron.

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