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Wolfsheimer Questions EDC Political Motives

San Diego City Councilwoman Abbe Wolfsheimer, calling an Economic Development Corp. study of a citizen-backed slow-growth measure “politically oriented,” has asked City Atty. John Witt to determine whether the city-funded agency may legally engage in political activity.

In the report, the EDC warned that local unemployment will nearly double by the year 2000 and that commercial and industrial development will be severely curtailed if voters approve the citizen-backed Quality of Life Initiative, Proposition J on the Nov. 8 ballot.

Proposition J is competing on the ballot with Proposition H, a similar growth-limitation plan sponsored by the City Council.

Wolfsheimer, the only council member who supports Proposition J, said she believes that the study is a politically motivated attack on the initiative, which the EDC has formally opposed.

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In a Sept. 8 memo, she asked Witt to determine whether the agency, which received $394,200 in city funds last year, is legally entitled to “take political positions and/or lobby in favor of ballot propositions” at taxpayer expense.

Citizens for Limited Growth, the authors of Proposition J, has asked Witt for a similar investigation.

EDC President Dan Pegg denied Friday that the study was politically motivated, but said “we’re not disinterested” because the agency’s focus is on keeping the economy healthy.


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