San Diego Mayor Bob Filner set to make first 'State of City' address Tuesday

SAN DIEGO - Mayor Bob Filner is scheduled to make his first "State of the City" address Tuesday evening.

The speech is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Balboa Theatre at the Fourth Avenue entrance to Horton Plaza.

Filner succeeded Jerry Sanders as mayor on Dec. 3 after 20 years representing the South Bay in Congress. He won November's election over then-Councilman Carl DeMaio by running on a platform of steering political power away from downtown interests and toward neighborhoods throughout the city.

Filner is faced with several challenges in his first year at the city's helm.

The city needs to address a higher crime rate, upgrade its communications equipment and increase staffing in the police and fire departments at a time when a surplus once projected for the next fiscal year

has been wiped out. Bond repayments on some major projects that had been paid with redevelopment revenues in the past will now come from San Diego's general fund, which pays for basic government services.

Adding to fiscal pressures, the city's required pension contribution for its employees came in higher than expected for the next fiscal year.

Filner served on the San Diego City Council and the San Diego Unified School District Board of Education before he was elected to Congress.

City Council President Todd Gloria said Monday that a large turnout is expected for Tuesday's address, so those planning to attend should arrive early. A post-speech reception is scheduled at the Westin Gaslamp Quarter Hotel.

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