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Daily Business Report — Jan. 31, 2012

Hotel Industry Briefing 2012

Will this year be a better and brighter one for the San Diego hotel industry? A group of hotel and real estate experts will discuss the issue at a Feb. 9 conference at the Hilton Garden Inn at 3939 Ocean Bluff Ave. in San Diego. Robert Rauch, president of R.A. Rauch & Associates, has assembled four panelists to take part in the discussion, themed “Let the Good Times Begin.” Panelists are Ash Patel, president and COO of Premier Commercial Bank; Alan Reay, president of Atlas Hospitality Group; Gary London, president of The London Group; and Guy Maisnik, vice chair of JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group. The conference opens with registration at 2 p.m. followed by presentations from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. and a hosted cocktail reception from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Cost is $59 for online registration. Visit hotelguru.com.

Council Puts Pension, PLA Measures on Ballot

(City News Service) The San Diego City Council officially called a primary election for June 5 and placed proposed initiatives on the ballot to reform the pension system and ban the city from imposing agreements with organized labor on municipal construction projects. The actions came on a series of mostly unanimous votes. Councilwoman Marti Emerald dissented a couple of times, preferring that the issues go before voters in the November general election.

The votes also authorized the city auditor and independent budget analyst to conduct fiscal analyses of the measures, and for the city attorney to prepare ballot titles and summaries. In the case of the pension reform initiative, the council directed the City Attorney’s Office to retain outside counsel because City Attorney Jan Goldsmith is perceived to be a supporter. “The appearance here is what matters, and the appearance is the city attorney is not impartial,” said Michael Zucchet, the head of the Municipal Employees Association. Goldsmith said he accepted the need for “another set of eyes” to look at the summary that will be presented to voters.

Supporters say the initiative would save the city money in the future by giving new employees — other than police officers — 401(k) plans instead of enrolling them in the debt-ridden pension system, and by placing a five-year cap on compensation that can later be calculated into a worker’s retirement pay. The employee would still be eligible for raises and bonuses, but the extra money wouldn’t be eligible for figuring out a pension amount.

Councilman David Alvarez proposed having the City Council place a competing measure on the ballot, which would include the five-year freeze on “pensionable pay” but not the 401(k) component, which he said would cost the city $95 million in the first six years. His suggestion was not acted upon immediately.

The initiative on construction projects would bar the city from placing project labor agreements on municipal construction projects. Opponents contend that PLAs are unfair to non-union shops that try to bid for contracts, and raise the costs of projects. Supporters say PLAs ensure labor peace, meaning the projects will get done on time, and provide reasonable pay and benefits for local workers.

PLAs are illegal in the county of San Diego and the cities of Chula Vista and Oceanside. The state recently passed legislation that puts charter cities at risk of losing state funding assistance for municipal projects if they ban the agreements.

Security Business Bank Announces Quarter and Annual Results

Security Business Bank of San Diego reported its unaudited 2011 fourth-quarter and annual financial results. As of Dec. 31, the company grew loans to $182.0 million (a 5.1 percent rise in growth year over year) and assets to $233.4 million (a 3.8 percent annual increase). Also among the results is an 88.3 percent core deposits to total deposit ratio. Of the bank’s total deposits, 48.6 percent are non-interest bearing deposits. “The growth of our balance sheet this year over last reinforces our consistent financial performance against a backdrop of economic challenge,” said Paul Rodeno, president and CEO. Fourth-quarter and annual financial results include: Total assets of $233.4 million, a 3.8 percent increase over $224.9 million at Dec. 31, 2010; core deposits of $159.5 million or 88.3 percent of total deposits; total loans of $182.0 million, a 5.1 percent increase over $173.2 million at Dec. 31, 2010.

Urban Corps Gets $25,000 Grant from SDG&E

San Diego Gas & Electric has awarded the Urban Corps of San Diego County a $25,000 grant to benefit the nonprofit organization’s GreenBuild Program. The funding will provide for the establishment of a Mobile Green Building Learning Center module that will enable Urban Corps’ youth Corpsmembers to learn skilled trades relevant to the green home improvement industry. “We want our graduating Corpsmembers to leave Urban Corps with careers, not just jobs,” says Sam Duran, CEO of Urban Corps. “To that end, we realized that we needed to establish the internal capacity to train and certify Corpsmembers in pertinent green job specialties. The Green Building Learner Center will serve as an onsite learning tool that will facilitate ongoing training prior to placing students in construction jobs that require knowledge of new energy and resource conservation technologies.”

StoneMass Partners With Fastframe

San Diego-based StoneMass, an online marketing and product development company, said it will partner with Fastframe to use its new social media package Montage for its national franchise network to engage the retailer’s customers using Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube. Using Montage, a Web-based platform, StoneMass’ social media experts will deliver a cost-effective method for Fastframe’s national network  of franchised stores to consistently deliver customer-focused, interactive content to their social media accounts, according to the company.


The Daily Business Report is produced by REP Publishing Inc., publisher of SD METRO, the North Park News and the West Coast Craftsman. Contact: Manny Cruz (619) 287-1865.


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Voice Your Opinion


We Want Your Opinions on San Diego’s Big Issues In the coming months, Probosky Research (one of California’s leading opinion research firms) will continue its partnership with SD METRO to survey San Diego residents about topics of interest to our readers. We’d like to throw open the door for suggestions for topics. What do you want to know? What do you think you know, but aren’t sure? What are you certain you know, but want to prove it beyond doubt? Ideally, we’d like to see questions that have to do with public policy.

Some areas may include Mayor Filner’s first 100 days job performance, should the city be responsible for economic growth and the creation of new jobs, how important are infrastructure improvements to our daily lives (streets and bridges, etc.), how important is water independence, how satisfied are residents with public transit or how do city residents value Balboa Park and other open spaces? Do you believe the City Council should revive the Plaza de Panama plan for Balboa Park?

You can email Probolsky Research directly with your ideas: info@probolskyresearch.com