Group calls to spend Chargers stadium money on San Diego's homeless and hepatitis A

Posted at 1:16 PM, Oct 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-12 20:50:00-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - County Supervisors Dianne Jacob and Ron Roberts are responding Thursday to a call to spend money pledged for a new football stadium on steps to combat homelessness and the hepatitis A outbreak.

Democratic elected and labor officials, along with County Supervisor candidate Nathan Fletcher, released a plan for action and investment for the $150 million originally pledged to the Chargers stadium.

Supervisor Ron Roberts told 10News the $150 million was only an idea for a ‘bridge loan’ and was never approved by the Board of Supervisors.

“Because the Chargers declined to negotiate on Mission Valley and instead abandoned San Diego for Los Angeles, I was never able to bring to the Board of Supervisors for consideration and approval a deal that would include a bridge loan to jump-start a new stadium. The Board never discussed this, just as the San Diego City Council never discussed its potential contribution. Perhaps the City should spend its own $200-million slated for the Chargers stadium before they or a perennial political candidate start asking others to do their job for them."

Candidate for supervisor Nathan Fletcher said the money from the County for a Chargers stadium was identified.

Supervisor Dianne Jacob released a statement: 

“It’s unfortunate that some at City Hall and others are trying to score political points off this public health emergency. This is nothing more than an attempt to shift the responsibility to the county for a homeless problem that has festered in the city for years. It’s frustrating that it took the Hep A crisis for some to engage, including a perpetual candidate for public office.

The lines of responsibility are clear: In addition to providing housing for homeless adults and families, cities are in charge of sanitation and should be able to determine if an unsanitary situation needs to be addressed within their areas. The county’s job is to provide services for the homeless, along with vaccines and other direct services to battle the Hep A outbreak. We’ve been doing exactly that since March. The county has spent about $3 million to date fighting Hep A with nurses, wash stations, hygiene kits and vaccinations for nearly 70,000 people. And it plans to spend $1.5 million a month going forward. We’re marshalling manpower and money to address this crisis, but this is only a portion of the substantial funding the county spends. Over $300 million is spent each year by the county to assist homeless and at-risk individuals and families in the region, including alcohol and substance abuse treatment and mental health services.

Any suggestion that the county backed a $150 million giveaway for a Chargers stadium is a complete fabrication. The board never took action to approve any money for a stadium.”


Another candidate for supervisor, former District Attorney Bonnie Dumais, also weighed in on the matter:

“We are in the midst of a public health crisis which has cost seventeen lives and could very well take more.  This is not a time for finger pointing.  The City and County are now working together to contain the Hep A outbreak and our focus should continue to be on expanding vaccinations, getting the homeless off the street, and keeping San Diegans safe.

Once we are confident the outbreak is contained, I will call for an after-action investigation into the local government response so that we can identify breakdowns.  As Supervisor, I am committed to taking the findings of this review and developing a regional response plan for any future public health crisis.  My plan will establish a Public Health Working Group made of representatives from the County and all 18 cities, state and federal authorities, and first-responders, so that we are prepared to deal quickly and efficiently with any future health crisis. Most importantly, we will make sure there is accountability, in both the findings of the after action report, and in our response plan.”