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During a special council meeting on Friday, December 5th, only days after Mayor Sanders vetoed the City Council’s decision restoring the community centers and painter positions back in the current year’s budget, a compromise was reached.

At the meeting, much of the credit for the compromise (slowly phasing out the six community centers by the end of January and tabling the issue over the painter positions until next week’s council meeting) was credited to Councilmember Donna Frye and chief operating officer Jay Goldstone, who, according to Frye, “talked every hour on the hour” over the past two days.

Councilmember Tony Young said their efforts instilled “a new air of collaboration” into the proceedings.

But the air wasn’t without leftover rankness. Councilmember Jim Madaffer had harsh words for outgoing city attorney Mike Aguirre. Madaffer blamed Aguirre for not informing the council that putting the six community centers and painter positions back into the budget was in violation of the city’s charter.

“I couldn’t let this last city council meeting go by without ringing this bell…[bell rings twice] because the bell to me symbolizes the fact that this city council, certainly for the last four years, has been devoid of competent legal advice. I understand an election has happened and thank God a new city attorney is coming into office next Monday. But the call to evacuate the city, to commandeering a water utilities truck, to making reckless statements during the Mount Soledad landslide, there’s no question what we saw this week just demonstrates how the city council, the city, this $3.1 billion dollar corporation known as the City of San Diego, has been ill-served with such absolute shoddy legal advice.”

“But there’s got to be recognition that this city does not have the money for business as usual. This is reality,” Madaffer continued. “At the end of the day, San Diego’s operated as one of the biggest small cities in America for a long time, and we’ve always tried to get by on the cheap here in San Diego. We’ve never had enough money in this city to finance the things the residents want.”

After the vote to override the mayor’s veto passed unanimously, Councilmember Young bid farewell to his outgoing colleagues. When Madaffer’s turn came, Young began. “You know, Madaffer’s a funny guy…”

To see more of Jim Madaffer’s dry, not-so-subtle sense of humor, watch the farewell to this current council Monday December 8th at 10:00 a.m.

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