Mayor Sanders’ speech on the state of San Diego, as it has for the past several years, boiled down to. “I hope you enjoy our weather, because financially we’re screwed.” Actually our weather isn’t going to be all that great for the next week or so.
The Mayor has used a vast array of draconian cuts to reduce the deficit in our $735 million budget from $179 million down to a mere $77 million. Everything got hit; shorter library hours, parking-meter rate increases, reduced maintenance at parks and beaches, layoffs of 200 workers, and cuts in public safety programs. Brutal, but one has to applaud the man for doing what had to be done.
In the same speech, though, he vowed to proceed with plans for a new $185 million main library, a $432 million city hall, a civic center expansion with a cost yet to be determined, and he was supportive of plans to build a new stadium for the Chargers to the tune of $800 million.
These, of course, won’t cost us anything because they are paid for with bonds. He assumes that the voters don’t know that when the city sells bonds it then has to repay those bonds with interest; that projects built with bonds not only cost the taxpayers money, they actually cost more money than projects built directly with cash.
Expanding your capital budget in such a manner while you have a 25% shortfall in your operating budget is nothing short of delusional.