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S.D. Council, Mayor Battle Over Purse Strings

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Aired 4/19/09

San Diego City Council will take a third stab today at sorting out how much power the mayor has to control the city's purse strings. It's a struggle that affects residents because it could affect whether services are cut without notice. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

San Diegans want the mayor to make changes to run the city more efficiently. But some are worried their services could get cut to balance the budget without anyone consulting them.

Council President Scott Peters hammered out a compromise in which the mayor could make changes of 10 percent or up to $4 million without asking the council. Councilwoman Frye is not happy with that.

The city council's independent budget analyst Andrea Tevelin says the important thing is not now much money is cut but whether services are affected.

Tevelin: If he can make dollar changes that truly do not impact services that's efficient savings that makes sense if dollars are reduced and the teen center is closed that is when we're asking the mayor to come forward to the council… that's the most important thing to the community.

The city council will vote on how to resolve the issue this afternoon. Alison St John, KPBS News.

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