San Diego’s City Council voted 6-2 today to put a financial reform package on November’s ballot, beating a Friday deadline and ending a month of frenzied action to address the city’s fiscal problems.
The vote saw the council’s six Democrats stick together despite numerous threatened and actual defections in previous versions of the package. The council’s two Republicans, Kevin Faulconer and Carl DeMaio, opposed the measure.
Voters will decide if the city will increase the sales tax by a half-cent for five years once a series of cost-cutting retirement and outsourcing reforms are met.
The big development Wednesday was that the new backing of Mayor Jerry Sanders helped increase the measure’s supporters. Two business groups, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, changed their position and spoke in favor of the ballot measure after the mayor lobbied them. Representatives of both groups said they still could oppose the package if they don’t believe the reforms save the city enough money.
The package was so rushed that an assistant city attorney had to read the entire 11-page ordinance into the record to meet public noticing rules.
More to come today.
— LIAM DILLON