Controversy over stadium vote

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Most people are probably under the impression that the stadium issue will be resolved when the voters make an up or down decision in November.

But, that’s unlikely because there’s a controversy over whether the stadium initiative’s are approved by majority vote or two-thirds.

This uncertainty is before the California Supreme Court to decide, but it normally takes 18 months to two years for the court to review an appeal from a lower court that ruled citizens initiatives pass with a majority vote.

City Attorney Jan Goldsmith was on Good Morning San Diego.

"This only comes into play, by the way, if one of these measures get over 50 percent, and less than two-thirds, they get more than two-thirds then its moot, it passes, under 50-percent it’s moot as well, it fails," he said.

It’s that in-between that brought a lawsuit. Goldsmith said he would like the court to rule before the election.

"I’m pointing that out to the court in a letter and I’m going to ask them if we’re in that scenario where you haven’t made the decision please entertain taking direct jurisdiction over the election results," he said.

This would prevent another lawsuit after the election, further delaying a decision on the stadium issue that’s about to enter its 15th year.

The court may or may not respond to the city attorney’s letter, leaving the city attorney and the voters not knowing what the voter threshold is before casting a ballot.

" there’s other options for them, many different options, in the meantime we have to tell the registrar of voters by August 12th what we believe the vote requirement is. We will tell them with a caveat and then we’ll probably explain it to the voters in the impartial analysis, a summary of what this measure is about," Goldsmith said.

Until the supreme court rules, the city attorney said current law states that tax increases require a two-thirds vote and both plans increase the hotel tax.

These two stadium initiatives will be pages and pages, long filled with language difficult for voters to interpret.

"the voters should focus on trying to understand these two measures, they’re very complicated, we’ll do our best to summarize them, always available for questions but that’s really where the voters work is at, along with about 30 other initiatives," Goldsmith said.

This is an important issue for San Diego. An expedited ruling is not unreasonable however, courts do not want to interfere with the elections process until after the voters have their say.

Categories: Local San Diego News