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City Loan in Limbo as Aguirre States it is Illegal

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Aired 4/19/09

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders’ plans to fix potholes and leaky roofs using a private $100 million loan could be stymied if city attorney Mike Aguirre refuses to sign off on the deal. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

The city council has approved the $100 million loan. The city’s independent budget analyst says she believes it is legal, even attorneys from the city attorneys’ own office signed off on the package.

But Aguirre himself has stepped in at the last minute to say he believes the loan is illegal because it violates the state and local limits on public debt. Aguirre maintains the city should not enter the loan agreement without first putting the matter to a public vote.

Council President Scott Peters weighed in today accusing Aguirre of politicizing the issue. Aguirre is running for reelection this year. Peters is one of four candidates challenging him.

The mayor’s office is looking into whether the deal with Bank of America can go through without the city attorney's signature.

Sanders has proposed to use the money to resurface 77 miles of city streets and repair 17 leaky roofs.

Alison St John KPBS News.

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