During our debate on Proposition D, we were unable to answer all the questions submitted by audience members, so we followed up with the campaigns afterwards.

We asked Councilman Todd Gloria one question specific to the Yes on D campaign, Councilman Carl DeMaio one question specific to the No on D campaign, and had one question they both answered.

Yes on D

Question: How often, by what measurements (month, weekly) and by whom will the 10 reforms in Prop D. be evaluated?

Councilman Todd Gloria: The 10 reforms will be implemented by the mayor and City Council. Whether they meet the criteria laid out in the ballot measure will be determined by the city’s independent auditor, Eduardo Luna. Luna must sign off that all 10 reforms have been completed in conformance with the language in the ballot measure before the tax can be collected.

Each of the reforms will be completed on the timetable specific to that reform. For some, a competitive bid process is involved. For others, labor negotiations are necessary.

The goal is to have all of the reforms forwarded to the auditor this summer. For some of the 10 reform measures, such as terminal leave, full implementation and savings can occur immediately; other reforms will take several months to implement fully and begin to deliver the maximum potential savings to taxpayers.

Question: Parks, recreational centers and libraries are also core services. What are your commitments to these services without Prop. D? What are your commitments to these services with Prop. D?

Gloria: I agree that parks and recreation centers are core services of the city. I know that, for the residents of my district, these are critical resources for job-seeking, educational opportunities and general quality of life.

If Prop. D does not pass, I know that many of these services will suffer tremendously from the budget cuts that we’ll have to make in the city of San Diego. If we have to cut $72 million, it won’t matter how strongly I feel about these important services — my duty under the Charter is to approve a balanced budget by June 30 each year.

This is precisely why I’m supporting Prop. D: Because I know that without the additional revenues, we will have no choice but to severely cut all our neighborhood services in order to deliver a balanced budget. Reform will not get us there within the given timeframe.

If Prop. D passes, restoration of library hours, which have been severely curtailed, will be among my top priorities (following restoration of fire station brownouts and police cuts).

No on D

Question: Opponents of Prop. D advocate implementing reforms without raising the sales tax. What leverage do opponents of Prop, D have to offer those who may be more reluctant to undergo reform? What are you offering these groups that will ensure reforms won’t be tied up for years on the negotiating table.

Councilman Carl DeMaio: Why do we have to bribe the labor unions? City government is the property of the taxpayers. All of the reforms that we have outlined — even in the pension system — can be implemented by the mayor and City Council if they just had the political backbone to act. The City Attorney has verified that, under state labor law and under Council Policy 300-06, the City Council can indeed impose terms of reform on labor unions. It just takes five votes.

Question: Parks, recreational centers and libraries are also core services. What are your commitments to these services without Prop D? What are your commitments to these services with Prop D?

DeMaio: I have outlined ideas that produce budget savings in excess of $90 million annually — and savings that can be achieved in the FY 12 budget. Those are all public record — and comprehensively address the pending FY 2012 budget deficit without cutting police, fire, roads or the core services you raise in this question. The only part that has not been released as a formal proposal yet is the long-range plan — which requires some additional actuarial work be completed first before our roll out. If I roll something out, I want to know it actually solves the financial shortfalls not only short term (FY ’12) but long term as well. For that long-range plan, we are putting the finishing touches on a ballot measure package that will enact long-term pension reforms and address the city’s long-standing infrastructure deficits.

Please contact Ashlie Rodriguez directly at ashlie.rodriguez@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0525.

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