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Donation Heart Ribbon

Proposal To Increase San Diego Sales Tax

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Video Transcript:

SAN DIEGO'S POLITICIANS WERE UNUSUALLY BUSY THIS WEEK LOBBYING ABOUT WHETHER THE TWO TAX MEASURES SHOULD GO ON THE NOVEMBER BALLOT. THERE IS THE CITY SALES TAX INCREASE AND THE SCHOOL PARCEL TAX. AND THEN THE MAYOR VETOED ANOTHER BALLOT MEASURE TO BUILD A NEW CITY HALL. WITH BALLOT MEASURES VOTERS WOULD MAKE THE CHOICE WHETHER OR NOT TO DIG DEEPER IN THE POCKETS TO SUPPORT THE CITY AND SCHOOLS. WITH ME TO EXPLAIN THE WHEELING AND DEALING GOING ON IS SCOTT LOUIS. SCOTT, AS WE TAKE THE PROGRAM THE CITY COUNCIL IS MEETING TO DETERMINE WHETHER TO PUT THE SALES TAX INCREASE ON THE BALLOT. GIVE US A BRIEF SUMMARY OF WHAT HAS HAPPENED SINCE THE COUNSEL HAS VOTED DOWN THE BALLOT MEASURE ON MONDAY. I HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING SAN DIEGO CITY POLITICS FOR SEVERAL YEARS AND I HAVE NEVER SEEN A SUMMER LIKE THIS. THIS IS A SCRAMMABLE UNLIKE ANYTHING ELSE I HAVE SEEN. IT HAS TO DO WITH THE BALLOT DEADLINE. YOU NEED TO HAVE SOMETHING APPROVED BY AUGUST 6 TO GET IT ON THE BALLOT. THIS FRENZY TO DO THAT IS REALLY INDICATIVE OF THE DESPERATION AT CITY HALL. SINCE THEN DONA SORT OF BLOCKED THE SALES TAX INCREASE AND SAID IN ORDER FOR THIS TO HAVE A CHANCE YOU HAVE TO HAVE PEOPLE FROM ALL SIDES TO SUPPORT IT. YOU HAVE TO HAVE LABOR AND CITY COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES OF WORKERS AT CITY HALL SUPPORT IT AND YOU ARE GOING TO NEED A BUSINESS COMMUNITY SUPPORT OR THE MAYOR'S SUPPORT. SHE CAME UP WITH A PLAN THAT SAYS THIS SALES TAX WILL ONLY STAY IN EFFECT IF CERTAIN REFORMS ARE MADE TO EMPLOY COMPENSATION. WHAT ARE THE KEY REFORMS? ONE OF THEM WOULD OUT SOURCE THE LAND FILL AND MAKE EMEMPLOYEES PAY HALF OF THE PENSION COSTS THEY ARE BUILDING UP AS THEY GET CLOSER TO RETIREMENT. THESE TRIGGERS HAVE TO OCCUR IN ORDER FOR THE SALES TAX TO GO FORWARD. IT WAS RATHER BRILLIANTLY PLAYED FOR HER TO DO DISMISSU THIS AND NOW WE HEARD THE MAYOR SUPPORTS IT AND THIS COULD BE ONE OF THE MOST IMPRESSIVE COMPROMISES TO COME OUT. WE TALKED TO DONNA FRY EARLIER ABOUT THE CHALLENGES ASSOCIATED WITH GETTING VOTERS TO BACK THE BUDGET REFORM PACKAGE. WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO PUT SOMETHING ON THE BALLOT THAT YOU THOUGHT DID NOT HAVE CHANCE OF SUCCEEDING? THAT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE. I THINK WITH THE REFORMS IT WILL BE VERY DIFFICULT TO GET VOTERS TO SUPPORT THIS. I HAVE NO ILLUSIONS ABOUT THIS AT ALL. AND I UNDERSTAND THEIR CONCERNS AND FRUSTRATIONS. AND I UNDERSTAND THE FACT THAT THEY FEEL DISTRUSTFUL. I GET ALL OF THAT. THE REALITY IS WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING. WE ARE RUNNING OUT OF TIME. I PERSONALLY DO NOT WANT TO SEE ANYMORE CITY SERVICES CUT. WHY IS THIS THE TIME TO ADDRESS CITY PROBLEMS THAT HAVE BEEN AROUND FOR A DECADE? IT IS NOT. THE TIME WAS 5 YEARS AGO. THE POINT IS NOW THEY HAVE HIT WHAT THEY ARE CONSIDERING A MAJOR DEADLINE WITH THIS BALLOT PROPOSAL. IF RECOVERY FOR THE CITY INCLUDES SOME KIND OF BALLOT MEASURE THEN WHAT A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE CONCLUDING IS THIS IS LITERALLY THE LAST WEEK BEFORE SERIOUS CITY DECAY OCCURS TO GET SOMETHING ON THE BALLOT. THE MAYOR AND HIS STAFF HAVE SAID THAT 20 FIRE STATIONS CAN GET CUT, 700 POLICE OFFICERS. MAYBE HE IS LYING. IF HE IS BEING TRUTHFUL THEN A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE SCRAMBLING AND THAT IS INDICATIVE OF HOW DESPERATE THE SITUATION IS. THERE ARE REPORTS THAT THE MAYOR ASKED THE SAN DIEGO UNIFIED SCHOOL BOARD PRESIDENT NOT TO PUT A SCHOOL PARCEL TAX ON THE BALLOT WITH THE CITY TAX. HOW DID HE RESPOND TO THAT? HE BUCKLED AND SAID I WILL PULL THIS OFF AND HE LATER CONCLUDED THAT I DIDN'T THINK THIS WOULD PASS. THEN HE SAID SOMETHING BAZAAR THAT THE BEST HOPE FOR THE SAN DIEGO SCHOOL DISTRICT WAS FOR THE STATE TO BALANCE A GOOD BUDGETT. THAT IS LIKE A TORNADO COMING TO YOUR HOUSE. I WOULD RUN AWAY FROM THAT SITUATION. THIS IS HOW SAN DIEGO SCHOOL BOARD RICHARD EXPLAINS HIS REASONING. WHEN I KIND OF PUT OUT THERE THE NOTION THAT THIS MIGHT BE SOMETHING THAT MIGHT BE TOO HARD TO PASS I'M TELLING YOU I GOT 100 E-MAILS FROM PARENTS, PHONE CALLS. PEOPLE SAYING WE KNOW IT IS GOING TO BE HARD BUT IT IS A FIGHT WORTH FIGHTING FOR BECAUSE WE NEED GREAT SCHOOLS IN SAN DIEGO. SO COMMITMENTS FROM PARENTS TO JUMP IN, VOLUNTEER, RAISE MONEY, MAKE PHONE CALLS, KNOCK ON DOORS, PUT UP YARD SIGNS. I THINK WE ARE GOING TO HAVE A VERY SPIRITED CAMPAIGN AND WE ARE GOING TO WORK HARD TO GET THE MESSAGE OUT TO ALL OF SAN DIEGOENS THAT OUR SCHOOLS ARE IN A CRISIS. SO AT FIRST HE SAID I WANT IT ON THE BALLOT AND THEN SAID HE DOESN'T WANT IT ON THE BALLOT AND NOW HE WANTS IT ON THE BALLOT AGAIN. BUT THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY IS ALREADY MOBILIZING TO PUT IT ON THE BALLOT. 2/3 IS BRUTAL. LET'S TAKE TWO BALLOT MEASURES THAT WORK. TRANSIT ISSUES GOT IT. LAST YEAR A PROPOSAL TO PUT SOMETHING ON THE BALLOTT TO SUPPORT FIRE PROTECTION DIDN'T COME CLOSE. THE REASON IS THAT YOU HAVE TO HAVE EVERYBODY SUPPORTING IT BECAUSE 20% OF THE POPULATION WILL VOTE AGAINST IT NO MATTER WHAT. SO YOU ONLY HAVE A SMALL GROUP BELOW THAT THAT CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE FOR YOU. HE IS GOING TO HAVE TO SOMEHOW BRING CONSERVATIVES ON BOARD TO THIS PROPOSAL. I GUESS THE OVERALL QUESTION IS: CAN THE LABOR COMMUNITY AND THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY COME TOGETHER ON BOTH OF THESE PROPOSALS SO THAT OUR SCHOOLS ARE WELL FUNDED AND SO THAT THE CITY IS WELL FUNDED? THEY ARE GOING HAVE TO NOT GO ALL FOR NOTHING ON THEIR SIDE. THEY ARE GOING TO HAVE TO SAY LABOR HAS TO STOP PUSHING THROUGH UNILATERAL PROVISIONS. THE OTHER SIDE HAS TO SEE ITS FUTURE IN SCHOOLS AND SEE IF THEY CAN BRING LABOR ALONG IN SOME WAY. THE MORE THEY ARE POLARIZED THE MORE PROGRESS SUFFERS. SCOTT LOUIS IT HAS BEEN A PLEASURE. THANK YOU SO MUCH. FOR THE LATEST NEWS ON THE PROPOSED CITY SALES TAX INCREASE YOU CAN GO TO KPBS.ORG.

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