San Diego City Council voted 6-2 today to place a sales tax and cost-cutting package on November’s ballot, in what was billed as the most comprehensive financial reform effort the city has seen in years.

Following more than a month of public and private debate and more apparent failures than imaginable, the council endorsed a plan that would allow voters to decide if they’ll increase their taxes in exchange for addressing pension, retiree health care and outsourcing reforms.

A big boost came from Mayor Jerry Sanders who broke his weeks-long silence this morning to endorse a package developed by Councilwoman Donna Frye with an assist by Councilman Todd Gloria. Labor union representatives jumped on board, too.

But a coalition of Republican and business leaders strongly opposed to the plan. Reforms, they said, didn’t go far enough and weren’t specific. They planned a formal and aggressive campaign against it.

Today marked the first approval in the process. City Attorney Jan Goldsmith’s role now becomes key as he has to craft a ballot measure that meets the council’s desires and survives legal challenge. He’s already noted many challenges a ballot measure would have to overcome. Council plans to return next week to place the item formally on the ballot.

More to come soon.


Dagny Salas

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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