Matthew Lickona 7 a.m., April 24
Proposition D Thumbed Down Overwhelmingly
With half the vote counted, the no vote on Proposition D, the proposal to raise the sales tax, was 62.33% last night (Nov. 2). The yes vote was 37.67%. Clearly, San Diegans are having nothing of the proposal. Now pundits will guess why the vote was so decisive. Was it the national Republican sweep? A vote against a Chargers subsidy? Resentment against the mayor's late-night, secret deal to help CCDC finance a Chargers stadium? A dislike of taxes in a deep recession? Fear that the increased tax will dent retail sales, already down more in the recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s? Or San Diego's usual tax revulsion?
Councilmember Carl DeMaio says he will come out with a "Roadmap to Recovery" Friday morning. He says the plan will balance with 2012 budget without cuts to police and fire services. The plan will restructure the pension system, says DeMaio.
Former City Attorney Mike Aguirre has come out with specific plans, focusing particularly on excessive pensions. Driving the $7.2 billion pension debt are the Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP), the double-dipping taxpayer ripoff; free pension credits, and retroactive benefits. Aguirre would end DROP, eliminate free pension benefits and remove retroactive benefits. He believes citizens should have a right to vote on the pension debt lawsuit that he pushed when in office, and the City should use the bankruptcy court's power to adjust debt.