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S.D. City Council Takes on Budget Battle Ground Rules

The San Diego City Council will vote today on ground rules for the upcoming budget battle. The mayor is trying to close a multi-million-dollar budget gap, but the city council wants to make sure he do

S.D. City Council Takes on Budget Battle Ground Rules

The San Diego City Council will vote today on ground rules for the upcoming budget battle. The mayor is trying to close a multi-million-dollar budget gap, but the city council wants to make sure he doesn't  cut city services without consulting them. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

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Today's council vote will define  who has the power to decide where the city's scarce dollars are spent. The mayor wants the authority to analyze city services, cut positions and shift employees from one department to another. But the council is unhappy with  changes the mayor has already made that  have major repercussions for parks, pools and libraries.

The council's independent budget analyst says ordinances should be changed because the mayor does not have the authority to make unilateral decisions that affect public services without the council's knowledge. The mayor says changing the ordinances will tie his hands, and hamper his efforts to increase efficiency and balance the budget.

Part of the discussion today will be about how other cities like Phoenix and Oakland have dealt with these questions, since these cities have recently moved to a strong mayor form of government.  Alison St John, KPBS News.