In a party-line vote yesterday, the San Diego City Council failed to override a budget veto by Mayor Kevin Faulconer through which he unilaterally gave himself $5 million for a special election by stripping other funds away from the citizens in districts of councilmembers who voted against the special election on Monday. San Diego County Democratic Party Chair Jessica Hayes issued the following statement:
“In a stunning display of a Trump-sized temper tantrum, the Mayor of San Diego put the special interests of the wealthy over his own citizens when he vindictively slashed council district budgets from San Ysidro to La Jolla as a punishment to his political opponents. Some important line items in those budgets were completely eliminated. He seized money from the people to accumulate the $5 million dollars for a special election for a private development project.
“Mayor Faulconer first demanded the City Council ignore San Diegans who voted overwhelmingly last year (66%) for Measure L, which requires that citizen-led initiative measures be placed on the General Election ballot rather than the Primary Election ballot. He then demanded this special election be held on the taxpayers' dime.
“The Council chose not to hold a special election after various community groups, environmental organizations, labor, and numerous Democratic leaders joined the chorus of opposition against the developer's special treatment. The Council voted eight to one last week to eliminate the line item for a $5-million dollar special election in the budget. Eight to one.
"When the City Council voted with the people they represent, Faulconer became hysterical. In an unprecedented move, he vetoed the budget and viciously slashed funds from community programs and put the money into this $5 million special election boondoggle for his best developer buddy.
"Not all of the eight who voted against Mayor FaulconTrump had their budgets slashed. His maliciousness was specifically directed against the district budgets of Democrats, illustrating a deliberate and callous intent to harm his own constituents. This he did despite his oath of office, in which he swore to faithfully discharge his duties, and promised to 'uplift all neighborhoods and create one city.' The Mayor must believe the citizens in those districts are already inclined to vote no on his developer's project if this special election comes forward. The Mayor must also believe Democrats from everywhere in the city will vote no for his developer's project. Otherwise, why would he visit such unbridled disdain on his own people?
"Kevin Faulconer has created divisiveness and rancor. He is taking his wrath out on groups including children and the homeless – citizens with the least ability to protect themselves from a bully like him. If Mayor Faulconer does not immediately repair the damage he has done thrashing about in his fit of pique, then he is unfit to remain Mayor of San Diego. I call upon him to either restore the budget or step down so a true and worthy leader can hold that office."