Shock and Awful at City Hall

Sanders: Cuts deep and painful

Thursday, Nov 13, 2008  |  Updated 7:31 AM PDT
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Shock and Awful at City Hall

Mayor Jerry Sanders proposes deep cuts to solve the city's budget crisis.

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Mayors Proposed Cuts Drawing Fire

The Mayor plans to use rolling brown outs to help meet the city's 43-million dollar budget shortfall-- but fire fighters say it goes too far.

Shock and Awful at City Hall

November 12, 2008
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Proposing cuts that are "deep" and "painful," Mayor Jerry Sanders goes before the City Council and residents with his solutions to closing the $43 million dollar budget shortfall.

What's 'red ink' to the people who run the city represents emotional blood when it comes to the citizens who benefit from the services in questions. Sanders is looking to cut jobs, programs and services whose backers appealed to the City Council to find other ways to balance the budget.

"Our challenge is to be honest with the public and to tell them there are no silver bullets and no rabbits to pull from their hats," Sanders said.

The cuts include suspending operations at nine recreation centers, seven libraries and six customer service centers throughout San Diego.  Also, four of seven deputy chief operating officers would lose their jobs

For too many years, according to the mayor, city council members have put off infrastructure maintenance and pension payments to save programs from the budget axe. Now even, the police department could see cuts in civilian staffing, and reassignment of administrators to patrol beats.

The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department is ticketed for rotating two of the city's 60 engine and truck companies out of service on a daily basis -- prompting members of Fire Fighters Local 145 to demonstrate their displeasure on Civic Center Plaza.

"These cuts are going to hurt every community in San Diego -- delay response times, whether it's HazMat, medical aid, terrorism, structure fire response.  It's going to effect everybody," said Fire Capt. Cory Beckwith

He also wants 10 percent budget cuts in the staff of the city clerk and City Council and the elimination of the Office of Ethics and
Integrity.  Sanders proposed cutting 217 jobs citywide, 102, which are already vacant.  In addition, the mayor warned that more budget cuts would be necessary in the future because budget deficits are going to be a continuing problem for the foreseeable future, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

The City Council is expected to vote on the proposal next week.

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