San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders this week vetoed part of the $3.3 billion all-funds budget approved by the City Council, deleting 62 jobs he said the city couldn’t afford.
Sanders, who was reelected to a second term as mayor on June 3, proposed 121 job cuts in the budget he submitted to the council, but the legislators added back 62 positions, most at libraries and parks, after independent budget analyst Andrea Tevlin proposed an inter-fund transfer that would pay for them.
The council passed most of Sanders’ 2008-2009 budget intact, but the mayor opposed the changes because the one-time fund transfers would simply delay the cuts until next year. The positions cost $4.3 million.
“I do not believe that restoring these positions is fiscally prudent,” he said in a statement, citing the possibility of revenue shortfalls in a slow economy and tough year for the state budget. “Continued financial discipline in all things — big and small — is absolutely critical to our financial recovery.”
San Diego, California’s second-biggest city, is recovering from a pension scandal that locked it out of the public bond markets for four years, and Sanders has made financial recovery his top priority in office, slashing almost 800 jobs, or 10% of public payroll, since taking office in 2005. The city regained its credit rating from Standard & Poor’s last month and plans to return to the bond market later this year.
The City Council will consider a veto override next week. Council members, who passed their budget by a 6-to-2 margin, can override Sanders’ veto with a simple majority vote.