The City Council upheld Mayor Jerry Sanders’ veto on funding a wintertime homeless shelter as part of its day-to-day budget today, one week after it initially voted to pay for the program.

With only three votes to override the mayor, the council fell short of reinstating the money. Sanders said last week that he didn’t want to spend cash that was headed for the city’s depleted reserves on a social service program.

Instead, Sanders and a majority of council members said they hope to garner the $465,000 needed to operate the shelter from the San Diego Housing Commission, the Centre City Development Corp. or private donors by the time they consider the program on Sept. 11.

Councilwoman Toni Atkins, who voted last week to fund the program but voted against overriding the veto, said she was confident the city would get the money. If not, it could choose to use the money that was directed into the reserves with Sanders’ veto at a later date to fund the shelter, which has historically operated blocks away from Petco Park.

“I don’t need a showdown with the mayor when I think we have a solution,” she said.

Councilwoman Donna Frye, who voted for the override, said it was more important to give the homeless community the peace of mind that the money will be there.

“If there is so sure a solution on Sept. 11, then what harm would there be in leaving that small amount of money in the budget until such time that you could remove it from the budget?” Frye said.

“What harm will there be in doing that?”

Frye also said she reemphasized her proposal to force CCDC to pay back $3 million to the city for the government’s past loan of more than $100 million worth in community development grants.

Along with Frye, Councilmen Tony Young and Brian Maienschein voted to override the veto. Atkins and Councilmembers Scott Peters, Kevin Faulconer and Ben Hueso voted against it. Councilman Jim Madaffer was absent from the meeting.

Overriding the veto would have required five votes.


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