Wednesday, January 14, 2009
San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders will give his annual State of the City speech tonight. KPBS reporter Katie Orr spoke with two local organizations about what they hope to hear.
This is Sanders’ first State of the City address in his second term. It’s pretty clear he’ll focus on the city’s finances. San Diego recently made its first public bond offering in five years. But there’s also a multi- million dollar deficit and looming budget cuts to deal with. Still, the Chamber of Commerce’s Ruben Barrales says San Diego shouldn’t ignore opportunities.
Barrales: We need to make sure that we focus on important big projects, like the convention center and other infrastructure projects that will make sure that once the economy rebounds, that San Diego is well positioned to take advantage of that.
Barrales says he’d like to hear Sanders talk about contracting out certain services and getting the most out of local government. Donald Cohen is the Executive Director of the Center on Policy Initiatives . He says the Mayor needs to be tough and admit the city’s revenue shortfall isn’t going to go away.
Cohen: The Mayor would have to go to the public and say, we’ve trimmed everything we can. We simply don’t have enough money, because our city has just too low, our fees and our taxes are too low for a major city in America.
Cohen says he’d also like to hear the Mayor stress how important city workers are to San Diego. Sanders is widely expected to lay out his financial strategy in the speech.
Katie Orr, KPBS News