VOSD Podcast: This Is as Wild as City Budgets Get - Voice of San Diego

City Budget

VOSD Podcast: This Is as Wild as City Budgets Get

Following high-profile budget drama and residents’ calls to “defund the police,” this week’s VOSD podcast features San Diego City Council President Georgette Gómez on how it all went down.

City Council President Georgette Gómez takes part in a debate for the 53rd Congressional District race. / Photo by Megan Wood

These are wild times for city budgets. Thus, a wild, livestreamed, simulcasted, super-sized interview seemed an appropriate VOSD Podcast response. That’s what we put together on the show this week, featuring San Diego City Council President Georgette Gómez.

Here are a few small, totally chill factors overshadowing this year’s budget: an unprecedented pandemic and the resulting economic catastrophe, a $248 million influx from the federal government and protests demanding the city defund the police.

On top of those things, Gómez was also helping the city close its biggest land deal ever. Oh, and she’s also running for Congress.

That’s the stage for this week’s show.

Hosts Scott Lewis, Andrew Keatts and Sara Libby took audience questions during the interview. And before they dove in with the Council president, they laid some groundwork on some of the trickier nuances around police funding, including how department vacancies work and labor negotiations.

Gómez made some news on the show: She revealed that she and Councilwoman Monica Montgomery made a last-minute attempt to cut millions in police funding from the budget but could neither get a plan together on short notice, nor get enough support from her Council colleagues to override a threatened mayoral veto.

“The mayor expressed that if we were to touch the budget on (the police department), he would have vetoed our budget,” Gómez said. “I had that conversation with him, and it was pretty clear … so I knew that I needed to have six Council members to override that veto. I didn’t have that.”

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