On Monday, San Diego City Councilman David Alvarez expressed his idea for how to get the city more money for fixing our roads, sidewalks and infrastructure: get the money from property taxes people are already paying. Alvarez’s idea is meant to compete with Councilman Mark Kersey’s proposal, which would take money from other sources such as sales tax revenues. But regardless of where the money comes from, Liam Dillon reports how one fact remains: we don’t know how to spend the money we already have.
“City leaders have known that their process for fixing roads and other infrastructure has itself been broken for more than five years,” Dillon reports. Call it red tape, or leadership inertia, or any number of excuses for not turning money into work; the fact is we have $560 million of projects already funded, Dillon reports, but “public works staffers now can handle up to $350 million in projects.”
Tuesday afternoon, Council members failed to reach any consensus about Kersey’s proposal, batting back and forth every detail, including what financial formulas should be used, how long revenue should be sequestered and even the definition of infrastructure. (For instance, should money generated by the program go only toward fixing infrastructure the city already has or also to build new things?) “Almost every one of these decisions could mean the difference of billions of dollars,” Dillon wrote.