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Faulconer veto restores funding to budget for special election

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Posted at 3:23 PM, Jun 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-09 19:33:33-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - As anticipated, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer used his veto power to restore $5 million in special election funding to the city's budget, among other changes.

"Several city councilmembers, who have publicly supported the convention center expansion, fixing our streets and helping the homeless, are being squeezed by their political backers to kill these ballot measures. I urge them to vote their conscience, use this restored funding to call a special election and let the public have the final say," Faulconer said in a release. 

The City Council voted Monday to reject funding for a possible special election in November, which could include a vote on a tourism tax (TOT) to fund an expansion of the convention center and proposed Soccer City development to the Qualcomm Stadium site.

"Make no mistake about it, this is one of the most consequential votes this City Council will ever take," Faulconer continued. "This City Council can stand in the way of progress or give voters the chance to create more jobs, fix our roads, reduce homelessness and build a world-class development that will generate millions of dollars for neighborhood services and public safety."

RELATED STORIES

The San Diego city charter requires a City Council supermajority, of six votes, to override the mayor's veto within five business days.

The council is set to consider whether a special election will be called for November and whether to place TOT on the ballot on June 12. On June 19, the council will meet again to consider whether to also include the Soccer City development plan on the ballot.

According to the mayor's memo, the $5 million in funding will come from the Qualcomm Stadium Operations Fund balance.

Read Faulconer's full memo here.

SAN DIEGO POLICE

Faulconer's veto also added $1 million to the San Diego Police Department's retention program, to be funded through money shifted from City Council budgets for Districts 1 and 3 and the city's projected surplus.

The department's Police Officers Association will decide where to allocate the $1 million addition of funds.

"The City Council and I are united in supporting our police officers, who maximize their resources every day to keep our neighborhoods safe. The councilmembers who made the motion to amend my budget proposal said they wanted more resources for police, so I have reallocated funding from their office budgets for that very purpose," Faulconer said.

The veto will also redirect $413,000 from the Bay Bridge Community Center roof project to SDPD facility improvements. Faulconer says the community center already has adequate funding.

HOMELESS SERVICES

Faulconer's veto also directs $66,086 toward the San Diego Housing Commission's homeless prevention and diversion program. The $66,086 had previously been set to fund a consultant position on the Housing Commission's newly-formed Homeless Committee, set to meet four times in 2018.

The City Council also approved $1 million in funding to the program in their June 5 vote.

CLIMATE ACTION

Another change came in the form of a $200,000 reallocation from a Community Choice Energy Program to tree planting services under the city's Climate Action Plan. The mayor said in his memo he does not believe the funding to the program to be appropriate currently and funding would be allocated when the city makes a final decision on a 100-percent renewable energy strategy.

CITY ATTORNEY

Faulconer's veto also reallocates $500,000 from the expansion of the city's "Get It Done" mobile app to a one-time funding of the City Attorney's office for services related to mayoral and City Council priorities such as homelessness issues, the city's Climate Action Plan, and labor issues.