"Strong Mayor" to Stay - NBC 7 San Diego

"Strong Mayor" to Stay



    "Strong Mayor" to Stay

    Voters weighed in Tuesday on whether a strong mayor form of government should permanent for San Diego.

    More than 60 percent of voters approved Proposition D, a charter amendment that would adopt the so-called "strong mayor" form of municipal government in San Diego.

    Check Live Election Night Results

    Prop D Results

    Decision 2010 in Photos

    The city temporarily switched to the strong mayor system in 2006. Since then, the mayor -- currently Jerry Sanders -- has not been a sitting member of the City Council. Instead, he has served as the city's chief executive, overseeing day-to-day operations.

    Prop D adds a ninth seat to the City Council. After Prop D, the City Council will need a two-thirds vote to override a mayoral veto, once the new seat is filled.

    Sanders was one of the measure's biggest backers. The numbers would suggest that he passed the test as the guinea pig in the five-year trial of the strong mayor system. He has had many challenges and  battles with the council. Had things not gone as well for the mayor as they might have during the city's financial crisis, Prop. D might have been stillborn.

    "I think people are very comfortable with the reform agenda that we've been able to put into place," Sanders said after the polls closed. "When I say 'we,' it's a lot of people -- it's the community, the council's been working on it with me. I also think they like having someone they can hold accountable, and I think that's the primary thing right now, is people want to be able to say, 'Hey, I don't like the way you're doing things' ... 'I like the way you're doing things,' and before, they couldn't do that."

    Prop. D backers raised about $400,000 for the cause, while the measure's opponents -- including Councilwomen Donna Frye and Marti Emerald, who withheld comment late Tuesday night pending a full counting of the returns -- reported no financial activity.