San Diego council committee OKs budget priority list

City News Service

The San Diego City Council's Budget and Finance Committee on Wednesday approved a list of five priorities for the 2011-12 spending plan, which includes the implementation of reform measures in last November's failed sales tax increase proposition.

Committee Chairman Todd Gloria said the unanimously approved priorities were about "asserting the council's opinion and desires" before Mayor Jerry Sanders proposes his budget plan. If the mayor learns the wishes of the council beforehand, they can forge a consensus, Gloria said.

The priorities are:

•  finishing the implementation of reforms promised to voters in Proposition D, the soundly rejected half-cent sales tax increase proposal — council members believe voters opposed the tax hike, not the reforms;

• protecting public safety dollars;

• adhering to 11 guiding principles to eliminate the city's structural deficit, approved by the City Council last February;

• funding core services; and

•ensuring full cost recovery in programs that are supported by fees.

Committee members who turned in their lists of priorities had "a lot of common ground," Gloria said.

The Proposition D reforms, some of which have been implemented or are in the works, are mostly focused on changes to the pension system and privatizing certain city operations.

The list of committee priorities will be forwarded to the full City Council for approval before it is sent to the mayor.



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