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Good morning from Hillcrest.

  • In stunningly quick fashion, the city of San Diego passed an 18-month budget yesterday, closing an up to a $200 million gap in the city’s finances with cuts in public safety and other services. City Council overwhelming adopted the measure, accepting Mayor Jerry Sanders’ proposal in near entirety. In theory, the city’s budget is now fixed until July 1, 2012, but we report that those pesky labor laws keep many of the important decisions made yesterday from becoming final pending negotiations.

  • The U-T gives a good run down of the budget and also quotes a critic who says the council chose to let this budget rise and fall with Sanders. I provide details on one of the more significant and confusing parts of the plan, the choice to temporarily shut down firefighting crews.
  • Our own Scott Lewis says the city’s plan is to pursue long-term reforms, but he’s not sure if he should believe it.
  • Hit hardest by yesterday’s budget was the city’s white-collar union, which saw the jobs of more than 80 civilian workers in the police department cut. Our Q&A this week is with union head Michael Zucchet, who is also a former City Councilman. Submit your questions to me. Zucchet is the subject of a U-T profile in today’s paper.
  • Scott Lewis also has an idea on how the public can support the downtown Chargers stadium with more than redevelopment dollars. Give them a stake in the team. Our own Sam Hodgson has a stunning photo of Bob Sinclair, the owner of the Wonder Bread building. Sinclair’s building is in the path of stadium proposal.

  • In the aftermath of Oceanside Councilman Jerry Kern’s victory this week over a recall attempt, Kern is trying to strip the name of one of his opponents from a city park. Both the U-T and the North County Times opine that Kern’s victory is a big defeat for organized labor.
  • Our own History Man has a dispatch on past local recall efforts.
  • Lots of quick hits. A major development project in North County failed to gain approval, but County Supervisor Ron Roberts could resurrect it if he wants. It was difficult to tell how federal appeals court judges felt about arguments in the Mount Soledad cross case. San Diego’s Convention Center made a deal for solar power. Poway’s city manager is moving to take the same job in Santa Monica. The city of San Diego’s downtown redevelopment organization is moving forward on a new fire station in Little Italy. The director of a well-known neighborhood organization in Southeastern San Diego is out.

— LIAM DILLON

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