One buzzword to take away from Mayor Jerry Sanders’ address tonight is “services.”

He planned to push to expedite financial reforms that don’t affect city services, according to an advance copy of the speech. In it, he also argued that redevelopment helps pay for city services and pledged to reevaluate what the city does and bid out nonessential functions. Facing another budget shortfall this spring, the draft speech emphasized prioritizing core functions like public safety, roads and water.

Sanders planned to say “services” 16 times, making it one of the most common words in his nearly 4,000-word speech. To illustrate how it stood out from the rest, I created the word clouds below. The bigger the word, the more often Sanders would said it.

(Note: All of the word clouds exclude “San Diego” and “city” — the two most common words — to highlight each speech’s more unique language.)

Here’s a word cloud of Sanders’ speech in 2010, when he blamed the economic downturn for worsening the city’s financial troubles.

And compared to his first address five years ago, when the city still reeled from political scandal, this year’s speech didn’t so strongly highlight problems facing the city, such as its deteriorating infrastructure — even though city streets have worsened during his tenure.

So what else do these illustrations tell us about Sanders’ new word choices? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Contact Keegan Kyle directly at or 619.550.5668 and follow him on Twitter:

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