San Diego City Council President Scott Peters today docketed for Friday an override vote on Mayor Jerry Sanders’ surprise veto Wednesday of the budget resolution passed by council last week.

And if the veto is overridden, which it likely will be because the original vote was 6-1, council will then vote again on a budget appropriations ordinance that requires $37.3 million in midyear budget cuts.

On Nov. 24, council approved all but $5.7 million of the $43 million in cuts proposed by Sanders. But it would not go along with Sanders’ proposals to cut libraries, recreation centers and two fire crews. After that vote, Sanders said he would not issue a veto because it would almost assuredly be overridden.

But then on Monday council added six community service centers and three painter positions in the facilities department — at a total cost of $600,000 — to the list of items it wouldn’t cut.

On Monday evening Sanders declared that the vote violated the city charter because council’s adding of $600,000 back into the budget constituted a substantial change to an appropriations ordinance that had already by voted on as a budget resolution. The issue went to the City Attorney’s Office for a written opinion.

And though the City Attorney’s Office told the Mayor’s Office that the votes on the community service centers and painters were illegal, it did not provide a written opinion before the deadline by which Sanders had to either sign the budget resolution or veto it. So Sanders said he had no choice but to issue a veto.

There was a question as to whether Peters could docket an override vote on such short notice and not violate the state’s open meetings law, which normally requires council to give the public 72 hours notice before holding such a vote. However, since a special meeting was already scheduled for Friday, the law allows a vote to be scheduled with only 24 hours notice.


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