Dean Spanos responds to mayor's concerns with Chargers initiativ - KUSI News - San Diego, CA

Dean Spanos responds to mayor's concerns with Chargers initiative

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SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Friday — Chargers' owner, Dean Spanos, responded Friday night to a letter written by Mayor Kevin Faulconer about concerns he had with the Chargers initiative.

"This letter is in response to your letter regarding the proposed initiative for an integrated convention center expansion and stadium within Downtown San Diego. As you noted, the Chargers have invested considerable time, thought and resources into the initiative, working with various advisers and stakeholders to encourage the development of the convention center expansion and stadium to benefit tourism, sports and entertainment in San Diego ... We look forward to continuing to discuss this opportunity with your office, members of the Council and all of the City stakeholders."

To read the full 34 page response, click HERE

Mayor Faulconer responded shortly after the release of the letter and said the following:

"This initiative, if approved by voters, calls for the largest public bond offering in San Diego's history — so it's only fair that the public knows all the facts. The Chargers will make their consultants available to the City's financial staff to scrub the numbers and assumptions that make up the financial model behind the proposed stadium-convention facility. We must continue to peel back the onion on this plan so the public has a chance to see all the layers. We're going to be fair but we're also going to continue asking tough questions."

According to the mayor's officer, the Chargers have agreed to make their consultants available to meet with City staff and San Diego business and tourism officials to inspect the terms of the proposed ballot measure. 

4/26/2016 — Ten days ago, Mayor Faulconer sent Dean Spanos a letter, along with 15 pages of details stating several concerns that were unanswered in the Chargers initiative.

Erik Bruvold of National University's Institute for Police Research has been closely following the stadium issue and said the mayor raises two sets of questions. One, laying the groundwork for future negotiations on issues that will come up down the road, and secondly, it reflects his concerns about not being part of the process. 

Government cannot legally get involved in a Citizens' Initiative, so the mayor had no part in drafting it. 

"This sort of emerged from whole cloth from the chargers headquarters," Bruvold said.

But the mayor can raise concerns about provisions in the initiative that could put the city and its taxpayers at risk. 

"From the city's perspective, it's being presented as something that it sort of a love it or leave it proposition. That's awfully hard," Bruvold said.

The irony here is the mayor was forced to come up with a stadium plan or risking losing the team on his watch and the Chargers were forced to come back to San Diego for another attempt at a stadium deal. This one downtown.

"The challenges of doing an initiative without the other party at the table. this all should have been worked out over probably months prior to putting this before the voters," Bruvold added.

The two sides could not agree on a public-private partnership at either Mission Valley or Downtown. That model works well when thoroughly vetted by the public as Petco park was.

"This thing is a problem because the parties didn't sit down and spend honestly months working out those details," Bruvold said.

The mayor's concerns are two-fold. One: laying the groundwork for issues that will come up in the future.

"Things that were not in the initiative in which the city and the Chargers down the road have to work out and the mayor's trying to get the best for the city moving forward," Bruvold added.

Then there's potential risk taxpayers.

There are serious questions for the city and taxpayers. Failure to answer them will bear heavily on whether or not the mayor will support the Chargers initiative.

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