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Carl DeMaio brings an impressive record and array of experience to the San Diego City Council.  As our watchdog on City Council, he will be the taxpayers’ eyes and ears to fight waste, end corruption and improve neighborhood services.

In addition to continuing his watchdog efforts, DeMaio brings a bold plan for fixing San Diego’s problems. DeMaio does not see tax increases as solutions to the city’s problems.  The city does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem. 

1.) Balance the Budget: DeMaio will require that the city pass — and maintain — a balanced budget without accounting gimmicks. DeMaio will shift budget dollars from non-essential items to the “core city services” such as public safety and infrastructure. DeMaio has also articulated specific and important reforms to reduce the city’s cost of operating by trimming back labor costs (salaries, fringe benefits, etc.)  Of course that is why the labor unions oppose his candidacy with such venom.

2.) Reform the Pension: As part of his pledge to trim labor costs and reduce city debt, DeMaio will champion real pension reform such as ending the DROP plan, abolishing the purchase of service credits and requiring previously purchased credits to be fully paid for, and requiring city employees to pay their fair share of retirement costs. While keeping the option of a defined benefit plan for public safety, DeMaio supports the shift to flexible and affordable defined contribution plans for general city workers. Finally, DeMaio also will push for the appointment of new pension board members to ensure a taxpayer-friendly majority on the board.   

3. Improve Infrastructure: DeMaio is committed to rebuilding San Diego’s roads, water and sewer system and public facilities. He proposes creating an infrastructure financing “lockbox” to pay for improved maintenance and upgrades.  DeMaio will also push for reforms in the contracting, management and oversight of all public works projects. 

4. Enhance Public Safety: DeMaio would put police and fire as the top budget priority — expending the number of sworn police officers on the patrol by 150 and adding new fire stations. DeMaio strongly supports the recommendations of the San Diego Regional Fire Safety Forum and will demand improved coordination and management of public safety functions across government entities. Finally, DeMaio will pursue improved brush management in District 5 and city-wide to protect neighborhoods.

5. Ethics and Open Government: DeMaio will champion independent audits, an end to inappropriate uses of closed session meetings, and true campaign finance reform that curbs the use of special interest money from big labor and big business in city politics. In addition, DeMaio calls for restructuring the Ethics Commission and providing for truly independent selection of city ethics commissioners by a retired federal judge using a grand-jury-like selection model.

As some of the responses to the earlier posts illustrate, DeMaio’s opponents can’t argue with his solutions, so they fall back on what they have been doing since 2003: shoot the messenger. Nasty and erroneous personal attacks do nothing to move our city forward.  Instead of reacting, DeMaio does as he always has done: focus on solutions for positive change in San Diego.

And when it comes to ideas, solutions and innovations, DeMaio has an ample supply of them. As a nationally-recognized government reformer, DeMaio has a network of government innovators across the nation to tap to redesign and reform every city department. 

These are just some of the important ideas and solutions that Carl DeMaio will champion as a city councilmember to restore San Diego’s financial health and improve the quality of life in our city.

— ALEX HOLSTEIN

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