City Council back to work

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The San Diego City Council is back to work after five weeks of vacation time and they are ready to move forward on the issues confronting the city.

The council members said they will not be focusing on the stadium or Convention Center expansion for now, but rather on the city’s neighborhoods and quality of life issues.

No doubt there’s been an improved relationship between the Mayor’s office and the council on setting the budget this spring, but the mid-year revision is likely to produce some friction along party lines.

The Democrats are in danger of losing their council majority in the upcoming election, so we can expect a clash of ideologies and priorities during the upcoming financial revisions, a return to labor and the Democrats versus business and the Republicans. 

Democrat David Alvarez on climate change:

"The El Nino situation could be one of the worst we’ve seen and one of my concerns is I want to make sure we are prepared to deal with it," he said.

Republican Mark Kersey:

"My biggest concern is and continues to be infrastructure."

The spending priorities were set when the budget was approved three months ago, but individual council members have their own priorities they will push for when financial revisions come at the end of the year.

Councilmember Sherman wants policy changes to streamline government.

"Zero based budgeting, prevailing wage, a bunch of these other issues to see where we can make cuts to save taxpayer dollars," Sherman said.

Councilmember David Alvarez sees a disconnect between the Mayor’s office and the council on infrastructure preparation for El Nino storms this winter.

"I don’t think anybody’s talking to each other, and definitely I don’t think anybody’s talked to the Mayor, and if they are its happening behind closed doors and we’re not aware of it," Alvarez said.

Councilmember Kersey’s infrastructure committee is working on a bond issue which will come well after the El Nino storms. 

"We’re going to continue to work on that this fall in preparation for a infrastructure bond initiative to put to the voters next year," Kersey said.

The upcoming election could shift the balance of power to the Republicans next year which puts pressure on the Democrats to get what they can this budget cycle.

"It may change the urgency with which certain things like managed competition and streamlining the system, I think you’ll see more of that coming depending on the outcome of the election," Sherman said.

"Everybody’s got to get their A game right now, figure this out, and lets be cohesive and figure this out as a region not as individuals," Alvarez said.

Nothing will be said on the stadium issue until next month, or the Convention Center expansion until the city comes up with a way of financing it. 

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