Lawyers for San Diego's Tourism Marketing District (TMD) plan to go to court Tuesday in hopes of speeding up their case in a lawsuit against the city.
The TMD is seeking to compel Mayor Bob Filner to release funds needed to manage the district, which was renewed by the City Council last fall for 40 years.
A TMD spokesman said in a statement that lawyers will ask Judge Timothy Taylor for an expedited briefing schedule, with an eye to a ruling on March 22, nine days before the agency runs out of money.
Tourism officials told members of the City Council last week that the dispute has forced them to postpone a $5.4 million advertising campaign designed to bring visitors this summer.
Filner wants to shorten the deal from 40 years to a couple of years, a livable wage paid to employees by hotel owners, more revenue to be used for public safety, and indemnification if judges rule against the TMD's funding mechanism in separate cases.
City Attorney Jan Goldsmith says the money isn't allowed to be shifted into other purposes like public safety, and the city's agreement with the TMD includes indemnification. Filner's other issues are up to the City Council, he said.
The TMD receives 2 percent of hotel room bills, on top of the city's 10.5 percent room tax, and uses the money to advertise San Diego as a vacation destination.
—City News Service