City Council District 3 candidate Stephen Whitburn’s campaign this morning released an outline of the candidate’s plans to get tough on crime in his district if elected. The candidate also has some ideas about how to pay for increased policing in the district, including tapping the Center City Development Corp. to help pay city bonds.
The release includes an analysis of San Diego crime statistics, completed by the campaign, which concludes that District 3 has more robberies and residential burglaries than any other City Council district.
Whitburn proposes several specific crime-abatement measures, including installing more street lighting, promoting Neighborhood Watch programs and, that old chestnut, putting more police officers on the beat.
But with the city $43 million in the hole and Mayor Jerry Sanders calling on city departments, including public safety departments, to suggest 10-percent cuts from their budgets, finding the ready cash for Whitburn’s proposals could be tricky.
I asked him where he would get the money for more police officers and for re-opening the district’s police storefronts.
Whitburn said there’s a lot of money being squandered at the city that he would seek to recoup for public safety. And he said the city needs to get more money into its general fund. One way to do that, he said, is to ask CCDC, the agency responsible for redeveloping downtown San Diego, to help the city pay its outstanding bonds for the downtown ballpark and the convention center expansion. The idea of forcing CCDC to pick up some of the city’s tab on these projects, long advocated by Whitburn ally Councilwoman Donna Frye, got some traction at City Hall last year.
Whitburn also suggested increasing developer impact fees and said he would consider an infrastructure bond to fund street repairs.
“We need to manage our tax dollars well and direct them to the city services, like public safety, that improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods,” Whitburn said.