Mayor Tries to Rally San Diegans in ‘State of City'

A city that once called itself America's Finest is once again facing tough financial times, and its mayor told residents in his State of the City address to expect to make more sacrifices.

Mayor Jerry Sanders delivered his fourth State of the city address on Wednesday night. Following a year of cutbacks, hizzoner stressed that more sacrifices await.

"As we enter another year of scaling back services, we cannot be a city of strangers," Sanders told a crowd at the Balboa Theater in Horton Plaza. "We must be allies, stepping up to meet the challenges on our horizon."

Sanders hinted at the possibility of more fee increases in 2009 and asked San Diegans to have faith that every dollar will be put to good use.

"Asking the public for more money -- whether it's extra coins for a parking meter or a few dollars more to dump trash on a landfill -- is always an occasion for controversy," Sanders said. "I can't guarantee that some people won't gripe about it, but I can guarantee that the fees we receive  will be used only to recover the costs of the programs they go toward."

Sanders said that as the city looks to save money, he hopes San Diegans find ways to volunteer, a move he says could cut costs on several levels.

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