San Diego’s most pressing problem is its $73 million budget deficit.
In his State of the City address, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders said he doesn't know how he's going to close that gap, but noted there will be more painful cuts ahead.
Among other things, Sanders said he will focus on fixing the pension system, expanding the san Diego Convention Center, and allowing private companies to compete for public jobs.
He is going to push forward with a plan to have all new city hires receive 401 K plans in place of a guaranteed pension
“By creating a 401(k)-style plan for future employees, including elected officials, we'll contain pension costs and restore sanity to a situation confronting every big city,” Sanders said.
DeMaio, who is considering a run for mayor in 2012, criticized Sanders for not being tough enough on issues in the past.
He says the mayor has made similar promises, but is hoping now things will change.
“If we are going to fix the city's financial problems 2011 needs to be the year we put to rest the pension crisis through real broad and effective reforms, you have to deal with the current liabilities, that needs to be our focus,” said DeMaio. “I am cautiously optimistic that the mayor has indicated that he is willing go start looking at that.”
Lorena Gonzalez, CEO of the San Diego Labor Council, accused the Mayor of being "more interested in waging a right-wing fight against retirement security for employees" than solving the city's budget problems.
"His proposal will not save the city any money this fiscal year and it will only discourage talented workers from joining the city workforce," Gonzalez said in a statement.
Sanders said he hopes to end the city's on-going financial problems by the time he steps down from office in December 2012.