“We want to keep you updated as more “news” comes in; to make sure you are getting information from the people who have spent the last year fighting tooth and nail to keep our building.
When Scott Sherman spoke to KUSI yesterday he sounded logical and reasonable. Mr Sherman stated in his interview that this land “would be sold to the highest bidder” citing legal risk to the City, and that bidding process was “put out to bid in a fair, open, and legal manner.”
The problem with his statement is that it is COMPLETELY FALSE!
In fact, when we first met with Scott last year, he seemed optimistic about our chances of winning the bid. He told us that in the bid selection process land use would be heavily-considered, not only the offering price. In fact, he even shared that he knew of a similar project that had been chosen due to its use and not because of the price tag, stating that it had sold for 600k less than the highest bid!
The truth about the bidding process is that it was not open, it was BLIND; there was no price tag. What we were told is that we were one of the top three bidders and that all three bids would be put in front of City Council, and left for them to decide on a project. THIS DID NOT HAPPEN. We were prepared to and would have kept bidding, but the bidding process stopped abruptly and Pacifica Companies was declared the winner. Meanwhile, we were left out to dry without any explanation. No deadlines or other “rules” were followed - we were set up to fail.
In hindsight we are left only with the information that Civic San Diego, the agency responsible for selling our land, is mired in a series scandals; that Civic’s own employees accused leadership of conflicts of interest and failures to follow contracting policies, including attempts to award contracts without a proper competitive bidding process.
Once the new buyers had been chosen, we were informed that they had no interest in keeping us as tenants. As if it wasn’t difficult enough to try to process the thought of potentially losing your life-long family business, a Target representative then came in and showed our general Manager, Brett, renderings of the buildings and callously asked him if he wanted a job when the new Target came in! Brett - a guy who has given his entire life to roller skating, a member of Team USA roller derby, a National champion jam skater, a coach, mentor, and life blood of this roller skating community – did he want to work at the generic big box store in the same location where he used to crawl around in diapers, with roller skates on his feet to slow him down?!
Skateworld benefits the community and beyond. Does a big box store benefit Linda vista? No! It will wipe out all the surrounding businesses and gentrify the entire area. How many small businesses have to be run out of town before the City stops and checks themselves?! Ultimately, what Scott Sherman did is throw away the interests of the local businesses and community members he claims to represent by choosing to support big box developers. How can a person who represents a community, and claims to care, not fight for a community asset that is a thriving social-gathering place!?
The system is broken. And the only way to fix it is if someone can find a “legal” reason why City Council should vote NO. We’ve been trying for the last year to figure out a way to stay, but the deck is stacked and no one in the city is on our side.