Good morning from downtown.

  • We’ll lead today with blanket coverage of Mayor Jerry Sanders’ annual State of the City address. The mayor promised to fix the problem that’s plagued him since he entered office more than four years ago: the city’s finances. By June 2011, Sanders said he’d have a plan in place to end the city’s practice of spending more money than it collects.
  • Our take: Sanders previously said San Diego government was the problem that led to the city’s financial problems. Now he’s saying government is the solution.
  • For a different State of the City view, we have a graphic of the most popular words Sanders used the last two years and a stop-motion photo slideshow of the evening.
  • The full text of the mayor’s speech is here.
  • Budgets and buildings constituted the U-T’s impression of the speech. Union and business leaders praised Sanders’ effort, while a community group member said Sanders presented more fiscal Band-Aids.
  • Sanders made his first major public statement on the San Diego Chargers football stadium search last night as well, saying a downtown stadium could go on the ballot in two years. The first formal step for financing a stadium occurred yesterday with a committee of the downtown redevelopment agency approving a study that would allow the city to collect more tax money downtown.
  • In other stadium news, Sanders held a separate press conference yesterday where he said the aging Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley would do in a bid to host part of soccer’s World Cup in 2018 or 2022.
  • If you’re looking for a rundown of who received the city’s share of free tickets to Chargers games this year, click here.
  • A major and controversial North County development project received a new lease on life yesterday at the county Board of Supervisors meeting. Supervisor Ron Roberts voted to rehear the Merriam Mountains 2,600-home development in March.
  • A Democratic candidate for a county supervisor’s seat this year says she’s against a ballot measure that would limit supervisor’s terms in office. That bucks organized labor, which is financing the ballot measure.
  • Of the 11 ballot measures San Diego’s City Council considered yesterday, only two will make the ballot: reaffirming the city’s “strong mayor” form of government and increasing veterans preferences for city employment.
  • And Escondido’s leaders say the city will run out of money by 2012 unless drastic cuts to the budget are made.

— LIAM DILLON

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