Posted by Frank Murch | Aug 17, 2015, 12:36:00 PM
I (and 300 of my "best buddies") had breakfast with San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer last weekIt was interesting. I don’t actually know the guy and even though I had a question for him, I doubt if he could pick me out of a line up.
This is what he had to say:
San Diego is transitioning to an “innovation economy”. This means San Diego is a leader in cyber security, robotics and other high tech businesses. Notable is the use of body cameras by the police – it seems we are a leader in camera use. I did not know that!
1 out of 5 jobs are related to the military , examples are NASCO, General Atomics, Cubic and many others. For economic drivers look south of I-8. It is not surprising to me that the Navy and Marines have a big footprint, but the south of I-8 focus was interesting.
6 years ago San Diego was close to bankruptcy, not now. SD has a balanced budget passed unanimously. They are resurfacing roads and doing infrastructure work. (they should have been working on a stadium 6 years ago – the timing was critical)
Water is a big deal, the savings goal for San Diego was 16% but they saved 24%. The Military was close to 50%?
The most interesting thing was about the Chargers. San Diego is working on stadium financing, and environmental study and working with the NFL. They are not (currently) talking to the Chargers. It was an audience member who said – the chargers are worth $500 million in San Diego, but the same team is worth $1 billion in LA. I got the impression San Diego will get a “Superbowl” stadium and it seems we may get a team without the Spanos family.
The most interesting thing (for me) was a comment about making government easier to work with. Specifically shortening the permit times and allowing business to run easier – This hit home for me as I have lost jobs in San Diego because I just could not get them through the permitting process. It is not that they were not permitable, it was the stupid stuff - the wait, the page sizes, the details that don't matter and the attitude.
I came away from the breakfast with a good feeling about this guy. It looks like the Chargers are leaving, the permit desk is still a PIA, but at least the mayor is top notch.