Editorial: Resign, Councilmembers Nury Martinez, Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo
“We’ve been here ten years…”
At present, San Diego County is in the middle of a budget showdown.
Prop. A (Proposition A) passed in 2008, and the county’s Board of Supervisors is currently considering its implementation. Prop. A was intended to rein in the county’s nearly $5 billion budget by limiting borrowing to $350,000, while continuing to take the $600 million in sales tax revenue currently taken from the top one percent of San Diego County residents. When I first read the details of Prop. A, I expected county officials to be able to keep such a plan in place for two more years. However, this wasn’t to be.
Over the next few years we saw a plethora of new programs, and a reduction in the budget for many county services. The result was that the county could not fund much of anything: police, fire and emergency services, libraries, parks, public transportation, and much more. This meant that the county’s public services were largely reduced while the county did not have anything at all to show for it.
San Diego County’s revenues are not the only ones that have diminished over the years. County revenues have declined every single year since the recession, and they are projected to continue to decline for many years to come. This means that the county has less in the bank each and every year, which has caused a deep cutback in county services, and reduced the ability of county programs to provide a good quality of life for the people of our community.
At the time the Proposition was passed, many of us hoped that San Diego would not see the consequences of Prop. A for another decade. In particular, we hoped that this might be the last year when we would be forced to face the reality of this budget situation. We may not be able to change the outcome, but we can prevent it from coming to pass in the first place.
When I first read the details of Prop. A, I expected county officials would be able to keep such a plan in place for two more years. However, this wasn’t to be