Frye's Disgust at the Late Night Pork Fest
October 15, 2010
by Scott Lewis
Voice of San Diego
Perhaps nobody was more angry about what happened last week when Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher and the Centre City Development Corp. just decided themselves to extend the life of redevelopment downtown than City Councilwoman Donna Frye.
Not only has she been demanding CCDC begin paying back the loans from the city that got downtown redevelopment started in the beginning, she's also been sticking her neck out for Proposition D, the tax increase paired with 10 financial reforms.
Her alliance with the mayor, once an arch rival, on that has been rather inspiring to see. But like a lot of us, she was startled to learn of the news from Sacramento that the deal had been done.
On Tuesday, she came up with the idea to send the governor a letter asking him to veto the legislation. As it turned out, the governor had yet to sign that part of the budget and she figured that if the city of San Diego officially sent him a letter asking him not to, he actually might not.
But it didn't happen.
Why? I told the story earlier of Councilman Kevin Faulconer grappling with the issue. He, like Frye, was so incensed by what Fletcher did that he just ... well ... couldn't bring himself to undo it.
But that ended up being dwarfed as a display of insecurity by what Council President Ben Hueso did. He had supported the idea of sending the letter to the governor but when the opportunity to try again — after Faulconer killed it — he balked.
Well, he didn't balk. He ran away. Seriously. After expressing his concern about it and saying he thought everyone should relax a little, he called a recess on the meeting and then disappeared. Since he runs the City Council meetings, Faulconer had to take over the dais.
Whatever bug Hueso caught also, then, landed in Councilman Todd Gloria's donut. Gloria suddenly decided that the discussion they'd been having about how outraged they were was enough for him. That is, just them bloviating in council chambers was enough to send a message to the state that they aren't going to take getting undermined like that anymore...
And Frye was angry. When I talked to her on the phone after the tumultuous day, I told her that I thought people might feel like they couldn't trust city leaders right when they're asking people to have faith in their pledges about how extensive the Prop. D reforms will be.
"I don't blame them," she said...."We sat through a very lengthy public process to assure the public that there would be a full blight study and a public process they could participate in. Not only was that not true. But at nighttime, they essentially went behind the back of the redevelopment agency members — which means the public — and completely thumbed their nose at the process and that is wrong."...
Wednesday, the letter went out, authored by Frye and Councilwoman Marti Emerald...