Daily Business Report-May 17, 2017
The antipathy towards the gas tax mostly comes from the perceived effect it would have on the businessperson’s industry, according to the chamber.
Chamber Business Forecast Shows
Strong Opposition to New State Gas Tax
The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Business Forecast for the month shows stiff opposition in the local business community to the new state gas ta to pay for road repairs and transportation projects.
The forecast shows 60 percent in opposition to the tax and 23 percent in support.
When asked how the tax would affect business in their industry, nearly half of respondents see the taxes as having a negative effect, and 27 percent couch that as a very negative effect. Ten percent of businesses see the gas tax as having a positive effect on businesses like theirs.
The antipathy towards the gas tax mostly comes from the perceived effect it would have on the businessperson’s industry, according to the chamber. Those who see a very negative effect on their industry are strongly opposed to the tax for the most part, though some doubt creeps in. Those who see no effect or are unsure about the tax’s impact are split on the tax. While there is more strong opposition than strong support for the tax among this group, it’s clear that businesspeople are far more open to a tax and the accompanying road repair programs if they sense their industry is unaffected by it.
In terms of general support and opposition of the tax by geographic area, South San Diego city businesses tend to be less opposed to the gas tax, though this is a matter of degree. In fact, while 34 percent in the southern part of the city support it — more than elsewhere in the county — 44 percent there oppose it.
The county’s overall business outlook has not been dampened by the bleak views on the gas tax. Looking ahead to summer, San Diego county businesses are holding steady to the optimism that has been present since the start of the year. The Business Outlook Index (BOI) sits at an even 24, in-line with its historic average and unchanged from the previous four months.
Bob Nelson Steps Down from San Diego
Port Commission, Citing Conflicts
Bob Nelson resigned Tuesday from the San Diego Board of Port Commission so he can devote more time to his advertising and public relations firm and to pursue funding for the proposed expansion of the San Diego Convention Center, which is on the November ballot.
In an interview with the San Diego Union-Tribune, Nelson cited commitments to his business and personal affairs as interfering with his Port Commission public service, which follows five years on the San Diego Convention Center Corp. board of directors and a host of other community groups and service organizations.
Nelson said he regrets leaving but it was the best decision for his new business, Manolatos Nelson Murphy, of which he is a partner. The firm was launched last fall with former Faulconer aide Tony Manolatos and Kelly Murphy Lamkin, daughter of former Mayor Dick Murphy.
Nelson announced that he is leaving 19 months before the end of his term because of the opportunity to expand the San Diego Convention Center.
“The Convention Center expansion will face its final challenge when we go to the polls later this year,” said Nelson. “After 11 years working toward this milestone I cannot now remain on the sidelines. At the same time, I do not believe the public trust would be served were I to campaign in the community for a ‘yes’ vote by night, and then make land-use and financial decisions about the related Port property by day.”
Nelson was sworn in to represent the city of San Diego on the seven-member Board of Port Commissioners in January 2011. The Board includes representatives of San Diego, Chula Vista, Coronado, Imperial Beach and National City.
San Diego Election Reform Bill
by Gloria, Weber Passes Assembly
Legislation authored by San Diego lawmakers Shirley Weber and Todd Gloria to pave the way for general election runoffs in all San Diego County elections was approved by the state Assembly.
The 51-24 vote Monday on Assembly Bill 901 permits the San Diego County charter to be amended by ballot proposition or a petition signed by 10 percent of qualified voters to require candidates for countywide offices to stand in the general election, even if they receive a majority of the vote in a primary.
“Increasing voter turnout and engagement in our elections is a goal we should all strive for, and AB 901 will help us do that by ensuring decisions are made when voter participation is at its highest,” said Assemblyman Gloria, who represents the 78th District.
“Plain and simple, general elections see a higher voter turnout than other elections,” said Assemblywoman Weber, who represents the 79th District. “We see this every cycle where voter turnout is lower in the primary and higher in the general elections. This bill is an effective way to increase participation, which will make elected officials to be more representative of their constituents.”
The bill now heads to the state Senate for consideration.
Water Authority Awarded $1 Million
to Deploy Clean Energy Storage Project
The San Diego County Water Authority has received a $1 million incentive from the California Public Utilities Commission to build and deploy intelligent energy storage that will save ratepayers money and stretch the energy output potential of solar panels already installed at the Water Authority’s Twin Oaks Valley Water Treatment Plant.
The energy storage project, through an agreement with Santa Clara-based Green Charge, is expected to save the Water Authority nearly $100,000 per year in energy costs by using industrial-sized batteries to maximize the value of energy generated at the treatment plant. Installing batteries will help the Water Authority store low-cost power — either excess solar energy or retail energy purchased during off-peak hours — for later use during high-demand periods.
The installation at the Twin Oaks site is expected to prove especially beneficial. An analysis of the Twin Oaks facility showed that the plant’s period of highest energy demand, the late afternoon, aligns with peak rates for purchased electricity. Energy storage with advanced control software will allow the Water Authority to smooth out spikes in demand by shifting draw from the grid to off-peak times.
To complete the project, the Water Authority has entered into a no-cost Power Efficiency Agreement with Green Charge to install a 1 megawatt/2 megawatt-hour energy storage system at the Twin Oaks plant. Green Charge will own, operate and maintain the system on Water Authority land for 10 years, after which the Water Authority can choose to extend the agreement, purchase the batteries, or have them removed and the site returned to its original condition.
For information on the Water Authority’s renewable energy initiatives, go to www.sdcwa.org/renewable-energy.
City Council Establishes Special
Council Committee on Homelessness
The San Diego City Council on Tuesday voted to create a temporary special issues council committee on homelessness to “clarify and strengthen the city’s role in addressing homelessness.”
The Select Committee on Homelessness discussions will focus on current programs, new programs and solutions, funding mechanisms, various city departments’ efforts to address homelessness, and updating the city’s Comprehensive Homeless Policy established in 1995.
The committee is set to deliberate until June 2018, at which point the city Council can extend its existence for six additional months.
Councilman Chris Ward is committee chair. Councilwoman Georgette Gomez is vice chair and other members are Councilmembers Lori Zapf and Chris Cate.
Tucker Terhufen Joins Fish & Richardson Litigation Group
Fish & Richardson announced that first-year associate Tucker Terhufen has joined the firm’s Intellectual Property Litigation Group in its Southern California office. Overall, in the past six months, 18 associates have joined the firm across its 12 offices.
Tucker Terhufen focuses his practice on patent litigation in federal district courts as well as before the International Trade Commission for clients in the medical devices, life sciences, chemical, and electronics industries. Prior to joining Fish, he served as judicial extern to Judge David G. Campbell of the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona and to Judge Mary H. Murguia of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Terhufen received his J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, from Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law in 2016. He received his B.S.E., summa cum laude, in chemical engineering from Arizona State University.