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San Diego Voters Favor Strong Mayor

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San Diego voters see the strong mayor system as a strength for the city. Voters approved Proposition D which makes the form of government permanent.

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San Diego voters see the strong mayor system as a strength for the city. Voters approved Proposition D which makes the form of government permanent.

From now on, San Diego will be run by an elected mayor and nine council members. The city had been experimenting with the strong mayor system for five years.

The passage of Proposition D means the strong mayor system will be permanent. Councilman Kevin Faulconer supported the measure.

"From my stand point, I think Prop D was all about continuing the reform efforts that San Diego has undergone with the strong mayor form of government,” he said. “I think voters are agreeing that they want to have that accountability and responsibility. And they don’t want an unelected city bureaucrat running the day to day operations of the city.”

If Proposition D had failed, San Diego would have returned to a city manager form of government. Opponents of the measure say a ninth council seat will cost at least a million dollars a year. They say that’s money the city doesn’t have.

If Proposition D fails, San Diego would revert back to a city manager form of government, in which the mayor would get the ninth vote on the City Council and once again preside over meetings.

Opponents argue that adding a ninth council seat would cost too much -- an estimated $1 million annually -- at a time when services are being slashed to balance San Diego's budget.

Councilman Kevin Faulconer has already proposed legislation to absorb the ninth district into the existing City Council budgets should Proposition D pass.

Supporters maintain that under the switch in government structure there have been good "checks and balances,'' arguing that strong-mayor has led to a marked improvement in accountability.

Early voting also shows Proposition C with a commanding lead. With absentee ballots counted, 60.5 percent of voters were in favor of Proposition C, which would update San Diego's hiring practices policy to give preferential treatment to veterans. The measure would amend the city charter to award extra hiring credits'' to veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan and their spouses.

Election 2020 news coverage

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