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Two San Diego Cities Swear In New Council Members Today

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Aired 7/6/10

The cities of Oceanside and Poway each hold swearing in ceremonies today to inaugurate new council members elected in June.

The cities of Oceanside and Poway each hold swearing in ceremonies today to inaugurate new council members elected in June.

Both Oceanside and Poway had special elections to fill council seats. In both contested races the winner won by fewer than 200 votes.

In Oceanside, Democrat Chuck Lowery will replace Republican Rocky Chavez, who moved on to take a statewide office.

Oceanside has historically had a very divided city council. Lowery says he won’t be voting with one block or the other. He says the biggest budget challenge ahead is how to pay for city employee pensions.

"A previous group of council members twelve years ago voted to do this completely outrageous, unsustainable, 'do any of you guys have a calculator?' agreement." Lowery said, "I don’t want to make decisions that are going to impact negatively people twelve years from now. Now we have to deal with it.”

Lowery said he hopes everyone will be prepared to give a little in labor negotiations with the city.

In Poway, businessman John Mullin will be sworn in to replace recalled city councilwoman Betty Rexford.

Poway also has a growing pension liability. But the city recently won a Taxpayers Association award for setting aside money in a pension stabilization fund.

Both new council members will have less than six months to prove their worth. They will each have to campaign for a full four year term next November.

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