San Diego voters overwhelmingly rejected Proposition D, a ballot measure that called for a sales tax hike once long-sought reductions were made to the cost of city pensions and operations. The San Diego Union-Tribune says the question now is what Mayor Jerry Sanders, Proposition D's biggest supporter, will do, after he said repeatedly that the city would have to make severe cuts to public safety if voters said no. A Union-Tribune poll showed that residents want the city to put more money into essential services, not less.
So how do you erase a $70 million budget deficit without slashing the fire and police departments, when they consume more than half of the city's $1.1 billion operating budget? The final decision could come before year's end as several city officials said they may enact budget cuts – in whatever form they'll take – by Jan. 1 to lessen the amount that needs to be slashed going forward. Opponents of Proposition D, say the proposed public safety cuts were campaign rhetoric and the mayor doesn't have the required votes on the council to make them happen.