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Strong Mayor Changes Won’t Take Effect Until End Of 2012

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Aired 6/10/10

San Diego voters have spoken and now they'll have to wait. Changes to city government put in place by the passage of the strong mayor initiative won't take effect for more than two years.

— San Diego voters have spoken and now they'll have to wait. Changes to city government put in place by the passage of the strong mayor initiative won't take effect for more than two years.

Proposition D's success means San Diego's strong mayor will be permanent and the city will be getting a ninth council district. But that ninth seat won't be filled until the end of 2012.

First the city has to go through a redistricting process which will change the boundaries of all the existing districts and create a ninth.

City Clerk Elizabeth Maland said that job will be done by a local redistricting commission. The commission is formed after every ten year census to evaluate district boundaries.

"They're required per the charter to go out into communities as well and gather input and to look at the geographical boundaries and the census information," Maland said.

Maland said the commission won't get the census data until April 2011. After that the commission has nine months to finish its work. San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders backed Proposition D. He said the strong mayor system will give voters someone to hold accountable. He points out that his role won't be affected by the measure.

"The things that take effect don't take effect until after I'm termed out," he said. "The ninth council district, the two-thirds veto, that's after I leave office. This is about the long-term San Diego."

The council member that will represent the ninth district will be seated at the end of 2012, the same time a new mayor will take office. Once the ninth council member is in office it will take a two-thirds vote of the council to override a mayoral veto.

It's estimated the additional council seat will cost at least one million dollars a year. Supporters of the measure said the budget for the eight existing council districts can be redistributed to include the ninth seat. Opponents said that's money San Diego doesn't have.

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