Welcome to San Diego Blog | January 13, 2010
The State of our City
Mayor Jerry Sanders State of the City address was a refreshing change from years past. Yes, the city is still financially burdened, but it appears that San Diego’s fiscal woes have hit rock bottom and we are finally starting to see the positive outcome of the reform implemented in the past few years.
“By putting substance before showmanship and by pursuing meaningful and lasting reforms, we’ve restored our credibility — and won back the confidence of Wall Street.”
The Mayor’s challenge was to close a $179 million budget deficit accumulated from past decades of negligence. In order to make a significant dent in this deficit, it was necessary to reduce library hours, increase parking-meter revenue, scale back maintenance at parks and beaches, eliminate long-standing public-safety programs and lay off 200 workers. The city also used several quick fixes, such as delaying debt payments and not funding reserves, to fill the financial void.
Despite the city’s tough financial situation, the Mayor still urged support for three major civic projects for downtown San Diego. He feels there is a need for the new main library, an expansion of the Convention Center and a new City Hall. “These projects would greatly enhance the quality of life of future generations, but only if they’re done right and without saddling us with debt,” stated the Mayor in his speech this evening.
The expansion at the convention center is an easy business decision as every dollar invested has had a stellar return and some of San Diego’s largest conventions such as Comic Con need more space or they will have to leave San Diego in search of a larger venue.
The city is also looking to build a new City Hall to curtail the $14 million they are spending annually to lease office space. Mayor Sanders also went on to say that he is still talking with the Chargers regarding the new Charger’s Stadium and if they can come to an agreement, it will be put in front of the voters as soon as 2012 to make a final decision.