A Promise Of Reform, But No Guarantees
Monday, October 4, 2010
The San Diego City Council is promising to make more budget reforms. But the city is not actually obligated to carry those reforms out.
SAN DIEGO The San Diego City Council is promising to make more budget reforms. But the city is not actually obligated to carry those reforms out.
The council has adopted three new reforms aimed at fixing the city’s structural budget deficit. They include saving $73 million a year by making cuts and finding efficiencies, limiting spending and putting half of any surplus revenue toward debt or savings. But the reforms were adopted as a resolution, meaning the city isn’t legally bound to follow them. Still, Councilwoman Donna Frye said these are steps in the right direction.
“Every single day we have been trying to move forward to solve the city’s problems against a very difficult backdrop,” she said.
Supporters of the resolution say it shows the council’s commitment to fixing the city’s finances. A recent report by the Citizen’s Fiscal Sustainability Task Force said the combination of the sales tax increase plus these reforms could solve San Diego’s structural budget deficit. But Councilman Carl DeMaio said there are a lot of resolutions that the city’s passed that don’t mean much.
“‘Take the Veg Pledge’ or ‘Bike to Work Week’, it’s symbolic, it has no legal guarantee behind it,” he said.
He said the only reforms that are guaranteed are the 10 linked to the sales tax increase. And he and other critics say those are watered down.