Mayor will campaign for a new city hall, if final deal meets his criteria
Mayor Jerry Sanders will help lead the charge for a new civic center, assuming the final deal meets the seven criteria he laid out earlier this week, his spokesman said.
“He would certainly campaign for it,” said Sanders’ spokesperson Darren Pudgil.
After months of analysis, the City Council will soon consider whether to begin bargaining with developer Gerding Edlen over the final costs and parameters of construction. On Monday, Sanders laid out seven criteria that will have such a deal would have to meet for him to support a final proposal, including that the deal must save money for the city right away. He also said that he thinks it would be important for the people of San Diego to hold a vote and decide on whether to commit to such a major project, regardless of whether such a vote is legally required. Pudgil’s remarks make clear that Sanders would help lead the campaign for a new city hall.
“On issues that he’s gotten behind before, he’s actively campaigned for them. I don’t see this as being any different,” Pudgil said.
Actively working for a new civic center— again, assuming the final deal saves the city money— puts Sanders squarely at odds with City Councilmember Carl DeMaio, who has been working against the project since even before he took office last year. But Sanders criticized the council member at the start of his press conference.
“We’re here to talk about the next steps the city should take to deal with the projected costs of remaining in this building and the other four buildings the city owns or leases Downtown,” Sanders said. “These costs have been the subject of a thorough, independent analysis by nationally recognized firms that have identified two options for the city of San Diego. The first is the hold steady option championed by Councilmember Carl DeMaio. Under this option, we would spend $40 million over the next 10 years just to repair and upgrade our buildings and still need to replace them at the end of 10 years. That’s the kind of shortsighted thinking that’s created so many problems for the city in the past.”
The comments mark a shift in tone for the mayor. He has refrained from criticizing DeMaio publicly in the past.
“Carl keeps shifting on what his proposals are,” Sanders said. “He came up with the hold-steady proposal. Some people have suggested that’s the do-nothing proposal. But I think it’s important to actually get into negotiating the agreements, see what we come up with there and then present that to the voters. I think that’s what we ought to do.”
On Wednesday, the City Council’s Rules Committee voted to recommend that the full City Council enter the city into a bargaining agreement with Gerding Edlen.