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Sanders Vetoes the Council Budget

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 (Photo: Mayor Jerry Sanders announces his decision to veto the council's budget. Alison St John/KPBS )
San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders is playing hard ball with his budget. He has vetoed the city council’s decision to restore over 60 park and library positions that he wants to cut. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

Sanders admits the personnel cuts are a tiny percentage of the overall city budget:  $4.3 million out of a $3.3 billion budget. But he won't accept the city council’s version of the budget.

Sanders: Specifically I will line item veto the positions that the council restored to the Budget.

The mayors says the positions are all in management in non-public safety jobs.

Sanders: I think the public would rather see us cut the layers - that same money could fund 40 police officers, it could fund four fire trucks.

But the council’s budget analyst, Andrea Tevlin, says she’s disappointed the mayor would veto the council’s input, which she says is based on public testimony.    

Tevlin:   The council goes through an eight week public process, out of that process they put on paper what their priorities are.   

Tevlin says she found ways to pay for the positions, including a bigger debt repayment from the downtown development corporation. She says the positions the mayor wants to cut will affect core public services.

Tevlin:   These are not executives sitting in their offices. These are parks managers out doing the work, library assistants out serving the customers. 

Sander's veto is unlikely to stand. The city council vote was 6 to 2 in favor of restoring the jobs.

Sanders dismissed any suggestion his veto is motivated by criticism he hasn’t cut enough, from people like his former opponent in the Mayor’s race, Steve Francis.

Sanders: Steve Who ?

However, the mayor is planning to campaign for candidates who support his agenda to get elected to the city council in November.   

Alison St John, KPBS News.

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