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Prop. C Passes but May Face Challenge in City Council

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While voters’ gave their resounding approval yesterday to Proposition C, allowing the city to hire private workers to perform municipal services like trash pickup, the City Council is still split over the idea.

Today Mayor Jerry Sanders used the endorsement from voters as the best reason for the councilmembers to back the measure in its current form when it goes to them for approval next month. During a press conference today, Mayor Sanders used some public political pressure to assure that happens.

Jerry Sanders: I think once the electorate speaks, then all of us have the obligation to acknowledge what’s been put forward as the will of the people. I feel that I’ve been told what to do by the electorate and I would hope that all of our council members would feel the same way and I think they will.

Sanders said the first city service contracts would be up for competitive bidding next summer. City unions had battled hard against Prop. C. Arguing it would allow police jobs to be outsourced, a charge Sanders has vehemently denied. Today City Attorney Mike Aguirre warned union groups they have no right to alter the measure.

Mike Aguirre: Once the electorate has made its decision, we don’t have the authority anymore to be changing substance of Prop. C. There’s no formal meet and confer right because the unions don’t have a right. No one has the right to supersede what the voters have implemented. That’s the law. The voters make the law when you proceed by way of this initiative process.

San Diego residents yesterday also backed Proposition B, requiring any pension hikes for city workers to be approved by voters. Props. B and C aren’t expected to solve the city’s financial problems but Sanders said today, they are tools to get the city back on track. Sanders said he would release a five-year financial plan next week on how to get the city out of its “mountain of obligations.” It’s expected to include layoffs. Sanders said it would contain pain both for employees and the city.

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