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Commentary: Mayor Sanders’ proposal to address an over $180 million budget deficit

Yesterday, the San Diego City Council received Mayor Sanders’ proposal to address an over $180 million budget deficit for fiscal year 2011 which begins in July of 2010. I consider his proposal one-pronged in a multi-pronged strategy that we must all participate in to address the City’s Structural budget deficit. If not addressed now and in a collaborative fashion with the City Council, Mayor Sanders, City Unions and the citizens of San Diego, we will be facing $200 million deficits every year for the next few years, and faced with laying off thousands of employees.

As the Council, Independent Budget Analyst and the citizens of San Diego review the Mayor’s current proposals for possible final actions by the Council on December 14th, I will be convening a meeting of the Budget and Finance Committee – SAN DIEGO SPEAKS on Tuesday December 8th at 6:00 p.m. at the Joe and Vi Jacobs Center, to get additional community input.

The Mayor’s proposed budget reductions are painful however they are not a fatal blow to the City’s workers and services as they could have been. I look forward to making additional recommendations in cooperation and collaboration with the Council, Mayor, Unions and the newly established Citizens Commission on Revenue Review and Economic Recovery, to look at near-term and long-term strategies to eliminate the City’s Structural budget deficit once and for all.