San Diego Union-Tribune
NORBERTO SANTANA JR.
Chargers panel holds 1st meeting | Mayor says group has `daunting task'
August 9, 2002
Mayor Dick Murphy thanked the task force members for signing up to explore how to keep the Chargers in San Diego in a way the public can support. He called it a "a daunting task.
" Former City Councilman Bruce Henderson asked the task force to "resoundingly condemn" the city's deal with the Chargers that guarantees the sale of 60,000 seats to each game.
Facing a sea of empty chairs, members of the Citizens' Task Force on Chargers Issues sat down to their first meeting yesterday.
Although the group expected a large turnout, the more than 100 chairs set up for the public in the War Memorial Building at Balboa Park remained largely empty.
"Your attendance is about as good as the Chargers are getting," audience member Edward Teyssier, chairman of the San Diego Libertarian Party, told the panel.
Mayor Dick Murphy thanked the task force members for signing up to explore how to keep the Chargers in San Diego in a way the public can support. He called it a "a daunting task."
He also told the members they were beholden to no one.
"There's no hidden agenda here," Murphy said. "We want you to recommend what you think is best for the city of San Diego."
Chairman David Watson and other members expressed concerns about the lack of public attendance and explored ways of spreading information about the meetings and gathering public comment.
Task force members said they would like to see their future Web site receive e-mail from the public and post documents, such as the Chargers' contract with the city.
Watson encouraged task force members not to hesitate to debate among themselves. And they didn't.
The members offered their impressions of the issues facing the group, ranging from examining the current contract to the state of Qualcomm Stadium to the value of NFL teams and Super Bowls to communities.
Former City Councilman Bruce Henderson asked the task force to "resoundingly condemn" the city's deal with the Chargers that guarantees the sale of 60,000 seats to each game.
Panel member Geoff Patnoe of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association called that idea "premature and irresponsible."
Task force members agreed to have a full airing of the 1995 lease between the Chargers and the city at their next meeting, scheduled for Aug. 29.
There are plans for Chargers spokesman Mark Fabiani to address the 15-member task force at that meeting.Future task force meetings are expected to be scheduled the second and fourth Thursday of each month, starting at 6:30 p.m., in the War Memorial Building at Balboa Park.
Norberto Santana: (619) 718-5069; firstname.lastname@example.org
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