Proponents of a November ballot measure argue it represents the greatest opportunity for financial reform in San Diego’s recent history.
The key word, though, is “opportunity.”
The 10 reforms listed in the ballot measure provide the start of major structural changes, not the end. The actual savings depend not only on negotiations before the tax could be increased, but also on the implementation of reforms anticipated but not required by the measure. In the end, it will come down to how hard the city’s elected officials decide to push for many reforms’ execution.
For instance, one reform, soliciting proposals to privatize the city landfill, was finished before City Council approved the ballot measure. By itself, the reform saved no money. But it could if the city follows through and privatizes landfill operations.
The situation is similar for several other reforms. Some depend on the extent of labor negotiations. One depends on IRS approval, others on the potential savings from outsourcing.
Ballot measure proponents have noted that much of the savings can’t be known now. State and federal laws require negotiations before some changes can be implemented. Mayor Jerry Sanders’ office and the Office of the Independent Budget Analyst plan to release savings estimates prior to the November election.