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On the evening of October 18, things got “nutty” at University City High School, where the first of eight “Budget Town Hall” meetings was held. The meeting was organized by mayor Jerry Sanders’s office to “discuss proposed changes to the city’s Fiscal Year 2012.”

The budget changes come as the City faces a $72 million budget deficit. On the chopping block are proposed cuts to public safety, public works, parks and recreation, and library services. Because the meetings are organized by the mayor’s office, there was no mention of Proposition D, which would increase the local sales tax by one half cent if approved by voters on November 2. However, many critics of the proposed tax increase consider the proposed budget cuts, and the timing of the meetings, a scare tactic.

“This is not a scare tactic,” was a remark made both by Sanders and fire chief Javier Mainar during Monday’s meeting. It was after Mainar made the remark that a man sitting in the front row exclaimed, “Yes, it is!”

Following presentations by heads of the departments facing cuts, Sanders answered questions submitted by members of the public on yellow pieces of paper. It was then that the same man who had spoken up previously said, “Is this a town hall?” to which the mayor answered, “This is a town hall, and you’re not part of it.”

The man criticized the mayor for answering “softball questions” and not having union representatives there to speak. The mayor asked the man several times if he wanted to leave. Within moments, a spokesman for the mayor’s office offered the man a yellow piece of paper. The man quickly scribbled something on it before handing it back. He left a few minutes later, before the end of the meeting. The paper had one word written on it: “nuts.”

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Comments

HonestGovernment Oct. 20, 2010 @ 11:33 a.m.

Thanks for the report. Among the San Diego Republican (and some Republican-backing, e.g., Hueso) elected officials, there is a pattern of the type of attitude embodied in Sanders' comment, “This is a town hall, and you’re not part of it.”

Scot Peters was equally insulting and sneering, routinely, in his role as Council president. Hueso is a close second. Very few cities have mayors or councilpersons who publicly treat citizens in this way. Many probably feel like doing so, but it is unusual. Lucky us.

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a2zresource Oct. 20, 2010 @ 2:07 p.m.

Historically, the American general's response to December 1944 German demands of a surrender at Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge was "NUTS!"

Perhaps the audience member of the community was feeling generally besieged by politicians without answers.

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David Dodd Oct. 20, 2010 @ 4:22 p.m.

Best stringer story of 2010. Nuts, indeed.

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Founder Oct. 22, 2010 @ 10:41 a.m.

  • Fiscal Fiasco -*

Our elected Leaders say, "Services must be cut" Now they're asking all of us, to determine just what

They say, "Our City is in terrible Debt" All the while, they are making a back door bet

They're getting the OK, to spend a Billion on a new Bowl While suggesting, huge layoffs and putting workers on the dole

I know all this money double talk sounds crazy, but it is true If you don't believe me, just wait until someone, decides to sue

Our City is now being sold out and is something we will all miss As our Leaders protect their Pensions and push US into the abyss

If you are just wondering, if there's anything you can do, to stop this irk Tell all to VOTE NO ON PROP D & PUT OUR CITY LEADERS TO WORK

*from: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs...

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