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Roundtable: Water Rates, County Supervisor Race, City Budget

Aired 4/13/12 on KPBS Midday Edition.

Guests: Mike Lee, UT San Diego

Chris Cadelago, UT San Diego

John Warren, editor, San Diego Voice and Viewpoint

Transcript

Water Rates

The Metropolitan Water District, the LA-based agency which distributes water from the Sacramento Delta and the Colorado River to its members, plans to raise rates to its member agencies by 5 percent in both 2013 and 2014, in spite of objections from the San Diego County Water Authority.

San Diego suggested a 3 percent raise in each of those years and wanted a reduction in the size and spending of the MWD.

The latest attack in an on-going war between the agencies finds the County Water Authority suing the MWD over the rates it charges San Diego. It has also launched a public relations battle accusing the MWD of creating a shadow government to decide issues without San Diego.

County Supervisor Candidates Square Off

For the first time in 20 years, a seat on the five-member San Diego County Board of Supervisors is vacant, and the top three candidates for Pam Slater-Price’s seat went at each other in their first public debate this week.

Steve Danon, Congressman Brian Bilbray’s chief of staff; Dave Roberts, a Solana Beach councilman; and Carl Hilliard, Del Mar's mayor, addressed pension reform, a new Chargers stadium, tax increases and whether red tape keeps businesses away from the county. Each of the candidates slammed the others on their records.

Someone could win this non-partisan race outright, but at this point, it seems unlikely that one candidate would get 50 percent of the vote.

Sanders' Last Budget

This week Mayor Jerry Sanders released his final budget to the public before it goes to the City Council. Sanders said his budget was the city’s first truly balanced budget in decades.

The budget adds library and recreation center hours, more police officers and increases the city’s reserves to 11 percent. The mayor’s office said the budget was achieved by a combination of changes to the retiree healthcare system, merging departments, managed competition, reductions in personnel and increased tax revenue.

Critics say the structural deficit has not been addressed.

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