San Diego

City Council Fails to Overturn Mayor Faulconer's Budget Veto Despite Democratic Vitriol

At the council hearing aiming for a vote to override the veto, there were harsh words for Mayor Faulconer

An effort to overturn San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s budget veto failed to win support Tuesday, despite strong criticism from angry Democrats on the council.

The veto came after the council, with an overwhelming 8-1 vote, approved the mayor's $3.6 billion dollar budget - but without $5 million dollars earmarked for a special election, which the council eventually voted down.

The mayor reacted swiftly with the veto to restore the money, and also slashed money from several districts who voted against the mayor.

At the heated council hearing aiming for a vote to override the veto, there were harsh words for Mayor Faulconer.

Council member David Alvarez called the mayor’s action to slash district funds ‘shameful’, and criticized the mayor for “failing to show his face here.”

"Actively choosing to punish and target other elected officials, their districts their communities, for disagreeing with you Mayor Faulconer, is something you’d expect from President Trump or even from someone like previous Mayor Filner," said Alvarez at the council meeting.

"With his vindictive veto, the Mayor corrupted the City's civil budget process with the petty partisanship usually seen in Washington, DC -- not San Diego. Unfortunately, a minority of the City Council were too afraid to stand up to the Mayor," added Alvarez, in a statement issued after the meeting.

Council President Myrtle Cole said Faulconer’s action sent a “chilling” message.

Council member Barbara Bry, who’s District 1 budget was slashed, said the action sought to punish council members who did not support the Mayor.

The council would have needed a 6 vote super majority to override the veto, but in the end, the vote was 5-3 along partisan lines with council member Lorie Zapf absent.

After the vote, Mayor Faulconer’s press secretary released a statement that made no mention of the vote, but said the budget builds on the progress of moving the city forward.

"Despite the challenge of rising pension costs, this balanced budget includes the largest infrastructure investment of this decade, continues our march to fix 1,000 miles of streets, ensures core neighborhood services remain a top priority and puts millions toward hiring and retaining more police officers," said Faulconer's statement.

According to the city's Independent Budget Analyst, the $5 million that would have gone toward the special election will fall to the general “fund balance.”

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