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Daily Business Report — Nov. 20, 2012

Taxpayers Association Endorses Water Authority
Purchase Agreement With Poseidon Resources

The San Diego County Taxpayers Association board has voted to endorse the water purchase agreement between the County Water Authority and Poseidon Resources for the drinking water produced by the Carlsbad Desalination project, which has yet to be operational. The board said the contract provides considerable protections for ratepayers, minimizing the risk to ratepayers of nonperformance and construction cost overruns. “Our support is in part based on the numerous ratepayer protections built into the agreement, which ensure that major risks are on the project’s developer and not on the public,” said Lani Lutar, president and CEO of the Taxpayers Association. The plant is expected to be operational by 2016.

Deficits Projected for the City
For the Next Several Years

San Diego’s Independent Budget Analyst projected deficits Monday for the city over the next several years, conflicting with figures from Mayor Jerry Sanders that sees nothing but surpluses ahead, reports City News Service. Sanders’ five-year budget outlook, released last month, called for a $4.9 million surplus for the next fiscal year, growing annually to $94.2 million by the 2018 fiscal year. It did not include general wage hikes for employees or increases in service levels, but financial officials acknowledged that uncertainties could unravel their estimates.  The IBA report listed several concerns that cut into the projected surpluses, including changes to redevelopment that could put the city’s general fund on the hook for Petco Park and Convention Center debt service, investment losses by the San Diego City Employees Retirement System, initial costs of implementing voter-approved changes to retirement benefits, doubling of support for arts and culture, and more moderate growth of sales and property tax revenues.

“While the city’s financial position has improved substantially over the past several years due to numerous reforms, it is far too early to celebrate,” the authors of the report said. They said city officials still needed to be “fiscally cautious.”

A Parting Shot from Retiring County Supervisor

Encinitas Patch — Retiring county Supervisor Pam Slater-Price had a parting shot for her Republican Party on Sunday: “What are you doing in my bedroom and telling me how to run my life?” Slater-Price, who will step down from the board after 20 years, appeared at a gathering of more than 100 people to celebrate the victory of 17 pro-choice female candidates from San Diego County. She said she thought the Republican Party was one that supported small businesses but was less enthusiastic about its outlook on women’s issues. The event, hosted by Run Women Run, a group that recruits and trains pro-choice women to run for elective office, also celebrated two state Assembly wins and the re-election of Rep. Susan Davis.

City Selects Miami-Based DecoBike
As Partner for Bike-Share Program

Miami-based DecoBike has been selected as the operating partner for the city of San Diego’s new bike share program. Mayor Jerry Sanders said the company currently operates the first and only privately funded, large-scale program in the nation and generates the most revenues per bike of any U.S. program. The company operates programs in Florida and New York and is in the process of expanding into other jurisdictions. The company’s plan calls for a deployment of 1,800 bicycles and 180 stations throughout the city. Once a contract has been finalized and submitted to the City Council for approval, the company and the city will ask the community for help in determining locations for station sites.

AT&T Expands Cell Sites in San Diego

AT&T reported that it has upgraded 11 mobile Internet cell sites in San Diego to expand its 4G LTE coverage for area residents and businesses. The company said AT&T 4G LTE is the latest generation of wireless network technology and provides several benefits for local residents, including faster mobile Internet speeds — up to 10 times faster than 3G – improved performance and innovative new 4G LTE-compatible devices. “Our goal is for our customers to have an extraordinary experience, and they’ll be able to download, upload, stream and game faster than ever before on our 4G LTE network,” said Tammi Terrell, vice president and general manager.

Deputy District Attorney to Head
San Diego County Bar Association

McLaughlin

Marcella McLaughlin, a deputy in the San Diego District Attorney’s Office, is to be sworn in as the president of the San Diego County Bar Association on Dec. 7. McLaughlin has prosecuted cases in the District Attorney’s Office for over seven years and began her legal career in the city attorney’s office after graduating from California Western School of law in 1998. She is president of the California Western School of Law Alumni Association board, board member of San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association, and vice president of the National Latino Peace Officers Association. Jon Williams, a partner at Boudreau Williams LLP, was elected president-elect and will serve as association president in 2014.

San Diego Universities Receive
High Marks Nationally

UC San Diego was ranked as the 38th best university in the country in the annual rankings by U.S. News & World Report and the eighth best public school. The university has been among the top 10 publicly funded universities for more than a decade. The Jacobs School of Engineering on the La Jolla campus was ranked fifth in the Biomedical/Biomedical Engineering category for the third consecutive year. The University of San Diego was ranked 92nd among national universities and tied for 14th among schools ranked as “up and coming.” San Diego State University was ranked 165th among national universities, a category in which Harvard and Princeton were top-ranked. In the Western regional college section, Point Loma Nazarene was ranked 17th and Cal State San Marcos 81st. The magazine calls its rankings a good starting point for families who are researching college choices.

Help Offered for Medicare Beneficiaries

Medicare beneficiaries in San Diego who are looking for personalized help with their Medicare decisions have a new resource, the UnitedHealthcare MedicareStore at the Chula Vista Center.  It’s one of more than 30 stores UnitedHealthcare has opened across the country during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period (Oct. 15-Dec. 7), when beneficiaries have the opportunity to elect their Medicare coverage for 2013.  UnitedHealthcare MedicareStore is at  555 Broadway, Chula Vista.

NOMINATIONS OPEN FOR

San Diego’s

MOVERS & SHAKERS

We’re seeking nominees for our sixth annual Metro Movers awards. Please submit your nominations by Dec. 13 to Rebeca Page at rebecapage@sandiegometro.com or fax to her at (858) 759-5755 or mail to SD METRO at P.O. Box 3679, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067.


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


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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