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About the Business in Faulconer’s ‘Businessman’ Ballot

Mayor Kevin Faulconer speaks with a man after finishing a press conference for Operation Shelter to Home. / Photo by Brittany Cruz-Fejeran

You’d be forgiven if you learned that former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer was a “businessman” last week when a judge ruled that he had to be listed on September’s recall ballot as “businessman/educator,” after he lost an attempt to describe himself as “retired San Diego mayor.”

Faulconer hasn’t had much to say this year about any role he holds with a business, busy instead with a gubernatorial campaign that he began exploring in early January and which he officially launched in February.

But, it turns out he has also been working part time as a strategic adviser for a company called Collaborate for California, a government consulting company started on Jan. 1 of this year by Aimee Faucett, Faulconer’s former chief of staff. The “educator” portion of his ballot title owes to his role as a visiting professor at Pepperdine University, which the school announced in December.

Since Faulconer will now officially face voters in September as “businessman,” we asked Faucett for a list of the company’s clients and a description of Faulconer’s role with the company.

For now, the company has just one client: IQHQ, the developer building a biotech campus at the property near the San Diego Bay that was ready to become Manchester Pacific Gateway, before developer/Faulconer support Doug Manchester sold most of his leasehold to a company that specializes in biotech real estate.

“Former Mayor Faulconer provides strategic advice when requested,” Faucett wrote in an email. She did not respond to a request for an estimate of how much he has worked for the company this year.

Politics Roundup

  • After successfully exempting themselves from state labor laws, Doordash and Grubhub are suing San Francisco for imposing a 15 percent cap on fees charged to restaurants for their delivery services. San Diego and La Mesa passed their own fee caps earlier this year, but neither has been targeted (yet) for legal action. Sara Libby also reports in the Sacramento Report that Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins is raising money for a lieutenant governor bid in 2026. 
  • Over on the podcast, our hosts discuss the state of bike safety in the region — four bicyclists were killed in San Diego in just the last month. They’re joined by KPBS metro reporter Andrew Bowen to talk about where and why bicycle safety plans are failing and the sacrifices needed to achieve the city’s “Vision Zero” goal. 
  • In the U-T, columnist Michael Smolens writes that a court ruling declaring DACA illegal may leave the future of young immigrant “dreamers” up to Congress. 

City Attorney Mum on Civic Center Plaza Demands

Earlier this month, lenders behind the city’s Civic Center Plaza lease gave the city an ultimatum after it failed to make its July rent payment: Pay up or surrender possession of a building that houses hundreds of city employees within 10 days.

The city’s deadline quietly came and went on Saturday.

The city attorney’s office, which has office space in Civic Center Plaza, did not respond to a Friday request about what it planned to do. 

A representative for the lenders declined to comment on their next steps last week other than to say they intend to “vigorously defend against the city’s baseless attempt to void” the leases while continuing to occupy Civic Center Plaza rent-free.

The city opted to stop paying rent earlier this month in the aftermath of revelations that a city real estate adviser who had been considered a volunteer was paid for his work on the Civic Center Plaza and 101 Ash St. leases, an outcome that attorneys for the city have deemed a significant conflict of interest violation that should result in the voiding of those two leases.

In a July 14 letter, an attorney representing the lenders wrote that they would “exercise all rights and remedies under the lease” and seek to evict the city from Civic Center Plaza if the city failed to fork over its $313,118 monthly rent by Saturday.

If the lender in the Civic Center Plaza deal moves forward with an eviction case against the city, the situation will likely play out in court.

In related news: The City Council land use committee voted Friday to forward building management agreements for the 101 Ash and Civic Center Plaza building leases to the full City Council for approval. Both leases require building management agreements.

Given the uncertainty surrounding both buildings, the proposed agreements with San Diego-based Meissner Jacquet Commercial Real Estate Services include clauses allowing no-fault cancelations by the city with 30 days’ notice.

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by Jesse Marx, Lisa Halverstadt and Andrew Keatts, and edited by Sara Libby.



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