Daily Business Report-Aug. 2, 2016
Election mail ballot. Photo courtesy of County News Center
Ballot Measures Likely to Cause
Election Cost Overrun in San Diego
By City News Service
The November general election could cost the city of San Diego as much as $5.5 million, well above what’s in the budget, because of a large number of ballot measures, City Clerk Elizabeth Maland said Monday.
The projection from the county Registrar of Voters has a low end of $4.2 million, Maland said. She said the city has already dipped into its $4.17 million elections budget to pay for counting petition signatures for a pair of citizens initiatives that qualified for the ballot.
Her comments came as the City Council voted to place five measures on San Diego’s general election ballot. Among other things, San Diegans will be asked in November whether to provide clarity to procedures to remove a wayward elected official from office, reform the Citizens Review Board on Police Practices and establish a business tax on marijuana dispensaries.
San Diego voters could decide the fate of about a dozen propositions this fall.
“We’re in a range — I just need to emphasize that so much is unknown and we’ve never encountered anything like this before,” Maland told the council members. “What ultimately ends up occurring could veer wildly from this.”
Two major variables will impact the cost, according to the city clerk. One is whether the city can put the text of the citizens initiatives online, instead of printing and mailing pamphlets. The other would be whether the city could mail pamphlets to households of registered voters, rather than each voter individually.
The initiatives — one for the Chargers’ downtown stadium plan, and the other to prohibit an expansion of the convention center and encourage educational use of the Qualcomm Stadium property — are both expected to run over 200 pages, according to Maland.
Councilman Todd Gloria called on his colleagues to exercise caution in placing measures on the ballot and prioritize which ones really need to go before voters this year.
“I think some can wait,” said Gloria, who chairs the council’s Budget Committee.
The measure to remove officials stems from the difficulty three years ago of getting rid of scandal-plagued Bob Filner, the mayor at the time. He eventually resigned after being accused of sexual harassment by around 20 women.
Supporters contend that the City Charter — San Diego’s primary governing document — doesn’t have adequate provisions to address such situations. At a previous meeting, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith called the ballot measure “a safety valve” for San Diego.
If voters approve the Citizens Review Board measure in November, the panel’s name would be changed to the Community Review Board on Police Practices, references to a city manager would be replaced by mayor and City Council, and a provision would require the board to review all in-custody deaths and officer-involved shootings.
A group called Women Occupy San Diego first brought the issue before the council in January, contending the board and police had lost community trust.
The marijuana proposal would establish a 5 percent levy on gross receipts on businesses that sell marijuana, should state voters pass a recreational use legalization proposition this fall. The tax would grow to 8 percent the second year, and the city would have the discretion to raise the amount to 15 percent in the future.
Cannabis sold for medical purposes would not be taxed under Councilman Mark Kersey’s plan.
Kersey said approval of the state proposition would create an unfunded mandate that would financially burden city government, and taxpayers cannot be asked to divert funds from other areas to pay for it. He said the state ballot measure has a taxation provision, but little — if any — of that revenue would make it to San Diego.
Opponents worry that taxes would raise prices at legitimate outlets, increasing the black market in marijuana.
Most of the measures were placed on the ballot with 9-0 or 8-1 votes, but Kersey’s proposal barely cleared the council on a 5-4 margin.
Including the recreational use proposition, the state has 17 measures headed for the November ballot. The county is expected to have two. The City Council will vote on several other municipal ballot measures today.
San Diego Running Out of 619
Area Code Phone Numbers
By City News Service
The 619 area code in San Diego is running out of available phone numbers, so the California Public Utilities Commission has a plan and wants to hear from the public, according to officials.
The CPUC will hold public meetings to provide information and get input on the introduction of new area codes to the regions now served by the 916, 805, and 619 area codes. The 916 area code serves the Sacramento area, while the 805 area code covers San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Oxnard.
The CPUC has started the process to add the 858 area code to the areas now served by the 619 area code, as the 619 area code is expected to use up its available prefixes by March 2019.
Adding the 858 area code to the areas served by the 619 area code is known as a boundary elimination overlay, which will provide additional prefixes and new telephone numbers for the 619 area code customers, according to Terrie Prosper, CPUC spokeswoman.
The boundary elimination overlay, pending CPUC approval, would allow all customers to keep their current phone numbers, including their area code. To avoid service disruption, the 858 area code would be added to the areas served by the 619 area code by September 2018, six months before depletion of prefixes.
In September 2018, 619 area code customers requesting new phone numbers would be assigned the 858 area code.
The area served by the 619 area code includes the southern portion of the city of San Diego, and the cities of Chula Vista, Coronado, El Cajon, Imperial Beach, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, National City, Santee, and some unincorporated areas of San Diego County.
The public meetings are scheduled for Oct. 4 at 1 p.m. at the Mission Valley State Building, 7575 Metropolitan Dr. and at 6 p.m. at the La Colonia Community Center, 715 Valley Ave. in Solana Beach. A third meeting is scheduled for Oct. 5 at 11 a.m. at the Pine Valley Improvement Club, 28890 Old Highway 80 in Pine Valley.
San Diego’s Top Directors to be Honored
At 2016 Director of the Year Awards
Corporate Directors Forum will recognize six San Diego directors for extraordinary contributions to corporate governance at its 26th annual Director of the Year Awards on Sept. 22 at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla.
The event is from 6 to 9 p.m.
The 2016 Director of the Year honorees:
Lifetime Contribution to Life Sciences
David Hale, chair and CEO, Hale BioPharma Ventures, former chair, Santarus, SkinMedica and others.
Magda Marquet, co-founder and co-chair, Althea Technologies.
Enhancement of Economic Value:
Mark D. Dankberg, chair and CEO, ViaSat Inc.
Companies in Transition:
Jim Buechler, chair and CEO, Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits.
Corporate Governance Not-for-Profit:
Carol Chang, chair, UC San Diego Foundation; president, Balboa Park Conservancy; founder and board member, San Diego Women’s Foundation.
Peter C. Farrell, founder and chair, ResMed Inc.; director, NuVasive Inc. and others.
The Director of the Year awards dinner is open to the public. For tickets and sponsorship information, call (858) 455-7930.
Council Votes to Put Police Review
Board Reforms on November Ballot
The San Diego City Council on Monday voted to place a charter amendment to reform the City’s Citizens’ Review Board on Police Practices on the November ballot. The oversight board is made up of volunteers that review allegations of police misconduct.
The reforms included in the ballot measure would do the following:
- Expand regulatory power over the board in the charter to include the City Council in addition to the mayor, who currently has exclusive authority over the board.
- Explicitly state in the charter that the board shall review all cases involving deaths that occur in police custody and officer related shootings.
- Change the name of the board to the Community Review Board on Police Practices.
“San Diego has the most dedicated and hardworking law enforcement professionals in the nation, so I am proud to move forward a batch of reforms to ensure the public has access to a transparent process which provides better police oversight and inserts checks and balances in making the rules for the board,” said Councilman Todd Gloria. “These reforms will help fortify the public’s trust in law enforcement which benefits both residents and officers.”
The reforms in Gloria’s recommendation included several measures to improve the independence and effectiveness of the board requested by Women Occupy San Diego and other community members.
Procopio App Highlights Tribal
Heritage in San Diego County
Procopio, a San Diego law firm whose focus includes Native American legal issues, launched the Indigenous San Diego app for smartphones last year.
Aimed at raising public awareness and interest in San Diego County’s tribal heritage, and to generate more revenue for Native-owned businesses, the app highlights museums, trails, landmarks, and lands with a tribal association.
The Indigenous San Diego home page provides two search options: Explore and Map. The Explore option allows you to search by subject, such as Tribal Lands or Spanish Missions, while the Map option lets you search by location.
Conveniently, each resource then provides a brief overview, cost (if any), and hours of operation. Even handier, at the bottom of each screen, the map and website are only one more tap away. It’s a new way to explore and learn about San Diego’s Native American history and the tribes’ public resources
Features Include: Tribal museums; cultural trails and landmarks; public museums; tribal-owned businesses; tribal lands; and higher education.
“We are extremely proud to be part of this exciting initiative in which we leverage technology to increase public awareness and understanding of historic and current actions of tribal communities, and in doing so, further knowledge about this vital part of the San Diego culture and economy,” said Theodore Griswold, Procopio’s Native American Law practice group leader.
San Diego’s Blue Horizon Insurance
Services Acquired by Illinois Firm
Blue Horizon Insurance Services of San Diego has been acquired by Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., an international insurance brokerage headquartered in Itasca, Ill. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Founded in 2001, Blue Horizon is a retail insurance broker providing property/casualty, employee benefits and risk management insurance services to their commercial and individual clients throughout the United States. They offer insurance coverage and consulting for a wide range of industries including health care, real estate, construction, technology, financial, and media and entertainment.
Ronald Zappelli and his team will continue to operate in San Diego under the direction of James G. McFarlane, head of Gallagher’s Western retail property/casualty brokerage operations and Norbert Chung, head of Gallagher’s Western employee benefits consulting and brokerage operations.
Cubic to Participate in $1.75 Billion
Contract in Support of Navy and Marine Corps
Cubic Global Defense, a business unit of Cubic Corp., is one of nine companies awarded a Fielded Training Systems Support multiple award contract by the U.S. Navy to provide training support services to the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and its foreign military sales customers.
Cubic will have the opportunity to competitively bid on numerous full and open task orders, under the fourth-generation contract, which has an estimated ceiling value of $1.75 billion. Cubic has participated in the FTSS contracts since the original was awarded in 2000.
“Cubic is pleased to continue a long, trusted relationship with our U.S. Navy and Marine Corps customers in helping them to effectively train warfighters and we look forward to demonstrating our capabilities even further in the upcoming FTSS IV competitive task orders,” said Dave Buss, president of Cubic Global Defense.
UC San Diego Health Ranks No. 1
By U.S. News & World Report
Ranked No. 1 in San Diego, UC San Diego Health and its hospitals have been recognized among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for 2016-17. The annual U.S. News & World Report “Best Hospitals” rankings distinguish hospitals that excel in treating the most challenging health conditions.
“Our commitment to transform health care for patients locally and nationally reflects, once again, in our ranking among the top 50 in the U.S. News & World Report annual report,” said Patty Maysent, CEO, UC San Diego Health. “Being named among the best in eight specialties is evidence of extraordinary clinical care provided for an array of conditions by some of the world’s best clinicians, surgeons and supporting teams.”
U.S. News & World Report ranked 153 hospitals in at least one specialty for the “Best Hospitals 2016-17” issue. UC San Diego Health ranked in Pulmonology (#11), Nephrology (#24), Geriatrics (#28), Orthopedics (#28), Cardiology and Heart Surgery (#31), Cancer (#35), Neurology & Neurosurgery (#37), and Urology (#49). It is considered high-performing in diabetes and gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery.
UC San Diego has been ranked the No. 1 health system in the San Diego metropolitan region for six consecutive years. UC San Diego Health is recognized widely among the country’s most prestigious health care institutions.