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Daily Business Report — May 24, 2012

Judge Dismisses Tax Lawsuit

A Superior Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit aimed at rescinding a recently approved tax to fund an expansion of the San Diego Convention Center. The ruling by Judge Gonzalo Curiel clears the way for the city’s validation lawsuit, in which the city is asking the court to rule whether the special tax is legal. It was approved by a vote of hoteliers last month. City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said the validation lawsuit is necessary because this precise method of taxation has never been used. A somewhat similar tax to fund the San Jose Convention Center expansion was found to be legal in a validation action, he said. Unite Here Local 30, the county’s hospitality and tourism workers union, sought to stop the vote on the tax, saying it violated the California Constitution. The city argued that the union’s claim had no basis in the law since it had already committed to testing the tax in court via the validation action. Judge Curiel ruled for the city, saying, among other things, that the validation action, which the city filed May 10, negated the need for the union’s lawsuit. Curiel also ruled that the lawsuit was premature because the city has said no tax will be levied unless the validation action finds that the tax is legal.

Mayor’s Budget Revision Would Add Expanded Services

Continued revenue growth will allow the city of San Diego to further increase operating hours at libraries and fund most City Council priorities in the upcoming fiscal year, Mayor Jerry Sanders said Wednesday. In announcing his “May revise” to the city’s $2.7 billion spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1, Sanders said the proposed $1.1 billion general fund will be $12.2 million higher than originally forecast. As a result, libraries will be open eight hours more per week than this year, instead of five hours more; the Central Library will re-open on Saturdays, the number of police cadets at four academies will total 30 instead of 25, and a second fire academy will be added, the mayor said. The fire academies will be the first in three years. Among the City Council priorities met in the revised document:
 more money was set aside for road repairs;
  funding for the Commission on Arts and Culture, which provides funding for local arts programs, will be raised 5 percent;
  the Neil Good Day Center, which gives the homeless a place to shower and make phone calls, will be funded; and  a graffiti abatement program was restored. The mayor, who is departing in December following two terms in office, said it “feels great” to begin restoring services after so many years of cutbacks. — City News Service

Silvergate Bank Expands into New Office

Silvergate Bank has expanded to a new 3,420-square-foot office in a three-story building at 8530 La Mesa Blvd., Suite 300. The branch manager is Michele Mamerto. Other branch employees are Priscilla Beltrano, customer service supervisor; Javier Metoyer, senior relationship banker; and Charlotte Santy. The branch is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The phone number is (619) 460-2265.

Shareholders Approve Merger of Security
Busines Bank with American West Bank

Security Business Bancorp shareholders have approved the terms of the merger of Security Business Bank of San Diego with American West Bank. Under terms of the merger agreement, Security Business Bancorp shareholders will receive cash for their shares. The merger is expected to close in the later part of the third quarter. Security Business Bank operates four San Diego locations: Carlsbad, Carmel Valley, Downtown and Escondido offices.

LRAD Corp. Receives $1 Million in New Orders

LRAD Corp. has received new orders totaling $1 million from the military, the company announced. The company, which makes long-range acoustic hailing devices, said the systems — LRAD 100X, LRAD 300X and LRAD 500X — are to be shipped this quarter. The systems transmit powerful, multi-language voice commands and deterrent tones that can be clearly heard and understood over distances of 500 yards to 1.5 miles in any type of terrain and environment.

Karras Begins Chairmanship of San Diego Regional EDC

Stath Karras, executive managing director of Cushman & Wakefield, has official assumed the chairmanship of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp. He succeeds Debra Reed, CEO of Sempra Energy. Karras also serves as a member of USD’s Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate Policy Advisory Board and is a founding member of LEAD San Diego’s Leadership Trust. He has been the vice chair of the EDC board of directors for the past two years and a board member since 2001.

PERSONNEL MOVES ____________________________________

Marguerite Lorenz, 48, of Fallbrook, has been appointed to the state Professional Fiduciaries Advisory Committee by Gov. Brown. Lorenz has been president of the Estate Planning Group Network since 2009 and principal at Lorenz Fiduciary Services Inc. since 2003. She is the co-author of “Ethics for Trustees – A Guide for All Who Serve as Trustee” and is a contributing writer to the Temecula Chronicle, Vintage Magazine and the North County Lawyer Magazine. Lorenz was a manager at Quire Financial Services from 1996 to 2003. The position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Lorenz is a Republican.

Gerry Wilson Golf Classic Set for June 6

The San Diego Better Business Bureau will hold its 16th annual Gerry Wilson Golf Classic, a fund-raising golf tournament, at noon on June 6 at the La Costa Golf Resort & Spa in Carlsbad. The tournament will benefit the BBB Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that supports the free services provided to consumers by the BBB. Donation to play golf in the fundraiser is $365 per player, which includes a pair of custom-fitted golf shoes or golf sunglasses, along with green fees, cart, raffle tickets, food and beverages on the course, prizes, player awards, lunch and after-golf awards dinner. Check-in begins at 10 a.m., followed by a putting contest at 11 a.m. and shotgun start at noon. For more information, contact the BBB’s Andy Ramos at (858) 637-6199.

The Daily Business Report is produced by SD METRO. Contact: Manny Cruz (619) 287-1865.

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