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It wasn’t pretty, but they did it: The city of San Diego managed to patch up an $83 million shortfall in time for the fiscal year that starts next week. But things might get real sticky real soon.
The state could take $70 million, and the city may need to patch a $100 million hole next year at this time.
This might lead to unpopular cuts and layoffs. “It could also bolster the arguments of those looking to raise taxes or fees to provide long-term revenues for the city, and ratchet up the pressure to reduce the city’s looming pension payment.”
A ballot measure could allow the city to find a new way to raise money, but it might come too late.
Despite this possible budget drama, a City Council committee still likes the schoobrary. It voted 4-0 to pass the downtown library/school proposal to the full council.
A library booster says the cost should be around $185 million, even though that estimate is four years old.
“If it’s too much higher than that, it may not happen,” one council member warned.
Forget about the schoobrary’s cost for a moment and consider this: Should a public meeting space, a library and a high school call the same building home?
All the librarians in town may not be able to shush a few hundred teenagers on their way to and from class. “Can you imagine what the elevators and stairwells will be like?” asks columnist Scott Lewis as he continues dissecting rationales for the library project.
Also at City Hall, a councilwoman offers a helpful bit of legal information as the mayor’s offices continues to deny access to 692 emails.
The brother of Ben Hueso, the San Diego City Council president, confirms that he’s planning to run for council next year. His targeted seat: The one now held by his sibling, who’s running for state Assembly.
Felipe Hueso will have competition, though, potentially including a South Bay school board trustee and a state legislative staffer.
In education, teachers presented the school board with a petition signed by more than 5,000 employees calling for the end to an “environment of fear, hostility and divisiveness.”
But two can play at the it’s-not-me-it’s-you game. The board president saw “an open act of hostility.”
In another move, the school board looked at a potentially messy plan to revise bus schedules and decided to punt.
Elsewhere, San Diego CityBeat tries to figure out who might benefit if the new City Hall isn’t built.
And the U-T reports that county supervisors approved a $300 million-plus women’s jail project in Santee, where residents haven’t exactly broken out the welcome wagon.
The price tag works out to more than $253,000 for each of the 1,216 beds.
Maybe they could just buy all the prisoners their own condos. Some are actually quite cheap these days.
— RANDY DOTINGA