If you asked me three months ago whether Prop C, the outsourcing initiative for the city of San Diego, was going to pass, I probably would have said, “easily.” Voters in San Diego want the mess at City Hall cleaned up, and at first blush, Prop C promises to do that. But it is never as simple as that. Our mayor and city attorney have both had to do a little backtracking on the measure, admitting it has flaws that will require a clean-up ballot measure in 2008 if it passes. Suddenly, one of the two initiatives Mayor Jerry Sanders is hanging his reform hat on doesn’t look like such a sure thing.

Really, we didn’t mean it. We know we are asking you for the power to contract out public safety, but we swear we’ll never use it. Honest. Cross our well-funded campaign hearts. Forget the fact that this city is in financial trouble, and public safety is a big part of our budget. You can trust us – honestly. Yes, we realize we just gave a plum contract related to this outsourcing process to a campaign contributor. And yes, we kind of forgot to ask the mayor if it was okay, and the contract has already cost the city money – even though we don’t even know if the initiative will pass. But we are still the people you can trust not to outsource public safety. We have all our ducks in a row over here at City Hall, yes siree. By the way, could somebody check with Mike Aguirre and ask him if we have to hold to what we said about not outsourcing public safety if we crossed our fingers when we said it? I’m pretty sure that’s the rule.

You get the picture. They had a chance to do this right and they didn’t take it. Why? The fact that we even have to ask that question should put enough doubt it the voters’ minds to vote NO on Prop C.

Frank De Clercq