SoccerCity: 18 days away from a critical city council vote
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — A critical council vote on SoccerCity is just 18 days away. The council has to decide whether to send its initiative to a special election this November or wait until next year.
The SoccerCity folks said if council decides it’s next year, this project is dead.
The opposition to SoccerCity has been growing. Council will have to debate the benefits it provides against what others are calling a land grab.
SoccerCity initially called for council to adopt their initiative outright without a public vote, then changed gears and is now flooding the airwaves with TV ad’s presumably to pressure council members to put this on the ballot this November.
SoccerCity said if this is not approved this year, there can be no stadium for the Aztecs by 2020 and San Diego will lose the opportunity to get a Major League Soccer franchise.
The opposition said what’s the rush?
Consultant Tom Shepard represents the Public Land, Public Vote Coalition in opposition.
"It seems to me there has been over the last several weeks considerable concern expressed by a number of council members about moving forward with this deal without having any real public input or debate," Shepard said.
Others want alternatives to consider. Still, others say why spend 5-plus million dollars to have a special election?
Councilmember David Alvarez favors a 2018 vote, saying this should be before all voters, not a third of voters in a special election. And SoccerCity doesn’t meet the needs of San Diego State.
"SDSU is an institution that serves many people, and needs to grow having access to mission valley has been critical for them and for me," Councilmember Alvarez said.
Councilmember Alvarez, Ward, Bry and Gomez lean against a vote this year and a few others are on the fence.
Only five votes are needed to wait.
"This is the last piece of prime real estate in San Diego, and so I think we need to give it really careful consideration as to what we want to do there," Councilmember Alvarez said.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer wants his Convention Center expansion tax on the ballot in November this year.
" … putting them on the ballot letting San Diegan’s weigh in on that is the right thing to do," Mayor Faulconer said.
Our first read on the voters will come June 6 during a council session designed only to get information on SoccerCity’s Initiative and the mayor’s ballot measure, which council will vote on six days later.
A week after that, June 19, council will be taking votes on SoccerCity.
The city council has two options:
Option A: Adopt the initiative outright, as SoccerCity originally wanted
Option B: Send it to the voters and select a day for the election.