For local political junkies, Prop. D is the main event this November. And whether they know it or not, the decision made by voters will affect everyone who sets foot in San Diego.
If it passes, sales taxes will go up if city leaders adopt a bunch of reforms. If it fails, the people who run San Diego will have to tackle the city’s financial problems without the carrot of extra revenue. The fate of city services — police, fire, libraries, parks, roads and all the rest — will hang in the balance.
To help you get a handle on the issues, we’ve created a comprehensive page about Prop. D and related issues. And we’ve posted commentaries from six of San Diego’s leading political players. Here are some excerpts:
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• Con: “Five years of delay is all this buys us.”
• Neutral: “You get what you pay for.”
• Con: “Sadly, it is the City Council majority’s performance to date that predicts their future actions. The city’s financial woes have been growing for years.”
• Pro: “You’ve told us you wanted your leaders to show you a way out of the city’s chronic fiscal woes and endless service cuts. Prop D is that solution.”
• Con: “The result of the last-minute wheeling and dealing: Labor leaders struck better deals for their members, and taxpayers were exposed to greater risk.”
• Neutral: “Fundamentally, Proposition D comes down to trust and on that count, proponents have a long way to go.”
In a related commentary, Vlad Kogan explains why a 401(k) retirement plan — which some conservative critics of Prop. D support — won’t save the city money.
Also, don’t forget about the live debate about the ballot measure between Councilman Todd Gloria (pro-Prop. D) and Councilman Kevin Faulconer (anti-Prop. D). Thursday, September 30, at 5 p.m. Don’t miss it!
In Other News:
• A middle school in El Cerrito, a neighborhood west of the College Area, has long suffered from a poor reputation and with good reason. Teachers came and went and test scores stunk.
But this year its test scores made a quantum leap (with no help from Scott Bakula). We drop by the school to figure out what happened.
• As San Diego schools set out to hack into their budget once again, we’d like to get your thoughts: Where should the district cut? You’ll need to show your work: no vague answers like “cut the fat” allowed.
• Who arted? Find out! As its quest for world domination continues, the Morning Report — which you’re reading — now has a sibling. It’s the Arts Report, and it comes out once a week. Check out the latest edition and sign up to get it in your mailbox every Tuesday.
• Columnist Rich Toscano, our reliable voice of doom on all things economy-related, is back to usual form: he says new local job stats don’t bode well.
• Our video series Survival in San Diego has a new host and a new topic: changes on Commercial Street.
• There’s an uproar among the leadership of the San Diego Humane Society over the killing of animals: the U-T reports that “when soliciting money to build a $21 million animal shelter in Mission Valley, fundraisers touted an ambitious goal for donors — to end euthanasia of treatable pets in the county by 2005.”
That didn’t happen, and the Humane Society’s new goal is to stop the killing of adoptable and treatable pets in 10 years. By the way, don’t confuse the Humane Society with the county animal shelter, which takes in many more animals.
• The county will do nothing about the $60,000 it’s already spent on grants for an organization that “paid the group’s annual Life Walk, an event that raised funds to pay for religious pro-life educational materials for private schools,” CityBeat reports.
• Are local cops planning to get hopped on painkillers? “San Diego Law Enforcement Wants Your Old Prescription Drugs,” says the KPBS headline. Nah, there’s nothing nefarious going on: authorities want people to clear out their medicine cabinets to prevent abuse of prescription drugs.
• This summer has been the coolest since 1933, the U-T says. 1933? Maybe a poor economy makes the sun nervous.
• Finally, the LAT printed a recipe for “paradise bars” from San Diego’s Bread & Cie bakery after hearing from a man who said they’re so delicious that it’s “what I would want for my last dessert.”
For my last dessert, I’d really prefer a cake with a reprieve baked into it.