Navy mayor moving on to new assignment, budget still a concern

SAN DIEGO - Before a packed monthly breakfast meeting of the San Diego Military Council on Wednesday, Rear Adm. Dixon Smith said the refocus by the Pentagon to the Pacific can only mean good things for San Diego.  

"One out of every four jobs is related to the military with $30 billion in over economic impact," Smith said.

The term "Navy mayor" was coined in 1920 for the person in charge of naval installations. The number of installations has grown considerably since then with 10 bases stretching from San Diego to Northern California to Nevada.  

Smith is leaving for a new assignment to Norfolk, Va. but said the incoming Navy mayor will face the same issue he did.  

"It's the budget," he said. "It was before I got here, it was while I was here and it will be for my replacement."

Smith said $100 million taken out of his budget and furloughs for 25,000 Department of Defense employees will begin next month, but he added with the refocus to the Pacific, San Diego will get projects done, perhaps a bit slower, but new ships will call San Diego home.

Smith leaves for his new assignment in July.

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