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Both sides of November’s financial reform ballot measure released their official arguments late Thursday and neither was a surprise.
Proponents talked up the measure’s ability to protect fire and police services from further cuts, noted its potential for vast cost savings and didn’t even mention that it would increase the city’s sales tax by a half-cent. Opponents talked up the measure’s lack of guarantees, its lack of specifics and not at all mentioning what might happen to the city’s budget if it doesn’t get new money.
Most interesting development: Mel Katz, former chairman of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, signed on to the Yes on D side. Proponents have reached out to skeptical business leaders for support since before there was an official sales tax proposal.
Katz and Phil Blair, his business partner at outsourcing firm Manpower, Inc. attended a press conference in favor of the measure two weeks ago and remain the only high-profile members of the business community to endorse it.
Leader of the No on D campaign, T.J. Zane, who also is head of the pro-business Lincoln Club of San Diego County, took a shot at Katz’s involvement. Katz is in charge of private fundraising for the new downtown schoobrary and remains $32.5 million short.
Prop. D, Zane said, could help.
“It’s not too much of a stretch to say that some of this money could find its way to fund the balance of the library,” Zane said.
Katz scoffed at Zane’s assertion, saying there was no way sales tax money would go toward the new library.
“I’m in favor of the reforms,” Katz said.
Signing the pro-Prop. D argument: Mayor Jerry Sanders, Councilwoman Donna Frye, fire union head Frank De Clercq, police union head Brian Marvel and Katz. Signing the anti-Prop. D argument: Councilmen Kevin Faulconer and Carl DeMaio, San Diego County Taxpayers Association head Lani Lutar, former Pension Reform Committee Chairwoman April Boling and Zane.
— LIAM DILLON