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Among political wonks at San Diego City Hall and beyond, a question casts a big shadow over budget deliberations: Is the city in the hole financially because of the recession? Or are there more basic problems that need to be fixed permanently?
Mayor Jerry Sanders revealed how he’s leaning this week. Most of his recommended budget cuts are one-time solutions that won’t save money over years to come. In fact, some major expenses are being postponed, not eliminated. (A PDF of the mayor’s budget report is here.)
Our story provides perspective on how the cutbacks fail to jibe with the opinions of the mayor’s own advisory panel, which called in a draft report for a halt to “half truths, unfunded mandates and budgetary gimmicks.”
We also explain how 530 proposed job cuts — 330 vacant positions and 200 filled ones — don’t translate to hundreds of pink slips. The number of layoffs could actually be zero.
And we check into the fates of the police horses and police dogs who may lose their own jobs. They won’t get gold watches for their service, but don’t worry: we’re told they’ll find homes.
In other news:
- We have an explainer about how maintenance assessment districts work. Those are the “complicated little tools” that help neighborhoods pay for services but have come under scrutiny.
- In housing, columnist Rich Toscano ponders trends in home sales: the prices for high-priced homes are weakening, following demand, as the winter home-sale doldrums loom. He also finds an excuse to mention the U-T, housing data and manscaping in the same sentence. Nice work. I’m alerting the Pulitzer Prize Committee immediately.
- Also on our site: San Diego teachers have reached an agreement with the district regarding workloads. Our partners at the Media Arts Center interviewed a Somali woman who’s trying to improve life in City Heights. And our Photo of the Day is of a lonely saxophone. Where’s the owner? Maybe today’s photo soundtrack has the answer.
- The U-T says San Diegans are already fighting the mayor’s proposed budget cuts.
- “A special prosecutor is looking into complaints against Chula Vista City Councilman Steve Castaneda,” reports 10News.
- San Diego CityBeat reports on two energy-drink moguls who have watched their local company “succumb to debt and litigation and now find themselves tied to a high-level federal drug-trafficking case.” CityBeat also profiles a woman who’s filed 87 lawsuits in the past year and reports that Children’s Hospital nurses are suing over flu vaccinations. The nurses say they must wear masks and special badges if they refuse.
- If you’re a native, you may have fond memories of attending sixth-grade camp at Camp Cuyamaca in the mountains of East County. The camp isn’t going anywhere, but its name might be: county education officials want to sell naming rights for a cool $3 million.
“We’re not going to sell anything on the back of kids,” cautions a spokesman. Guess we’ll know they’ve gone too far when the squirrels start sporting Nike logos. (KPBS)
- Finally, a woman who takes photos of scantily clad wives and girlfriends for their Marine sweethearts has been asked to remove an ad that uses the phrase “Aboard Camp Pendleton.” The Marines say her use of the name of the base, where she lives, is the problem.
She’s moving off base, however, and promises to keep providing a service to the servicemen. Business may start booming: the NCT helpfully provides not one but two links to her work, plus video. Talk about service.