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City Council To Hold Special Meeting On Sales Tax Increase Proposal

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Aired 7/29/10

San Diego City Council will hold a special meeting to see if it can hammer out a compromise on a November ballot initiative for a sales tax. The pressure is mounting; citizens at a public safety committee demanded action.

San Diego City Council will hold a special meeting to see if it can hammer out a compromise on a November ballot initiative for a sales tax. The pressure is mounting; citizens at a public safety committee demanded action.

Julie Adams of Rancho Peñasquitos insisted council members find a way to restore browned-out fire services. Last week a toddler choked on a gumball and a firetruck arrived too late to save him.

“There’s going to be another Bentley Do,” she said. “No doubt about it, so if this sales tax doesn’t go through, what measure are you willing to take to stop these brownouts?”

CFO Jay Goldstone from the mayor’s office said the city is facing more cuts next year and cannot afford to restore service this year.

“As it stands right now,” he told the safety committee, “there’s absolutely no intentions on dipping into the reserves.”

Meanwhile, Councilwoman Donna Frye hopes to negotiate an agreement with her colleagues to authorize a ballot initiative for a sales tax increase, but only on the condition that they pass pension reform and outsourcing.

The city attorney issued a memo saying the State Board of Equalization has never seen a conditional ballot measure like that before, and it will be complicated to write.

He warned council members not to meet behind closed doors, but to hold a special public meeting as soon as possible. He says they will also need to get the mayor’s approval before he can draft a measure to meet next Friday’s deadline.

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