San Diego, California
|San Diego, California|
|Last mayoral election:||2014|
|Next mayoral election:||2016|
|Last city council election:||2014|
|Next city council election:||2016|
|City council seats:||9|
|2015 FY Budget:||$3.0 billion|
|Population in 2013:||1.33 million|
White Not-Hispanic 45.1%
African American 6.7%
Native American 0.6%
Pacific Islander 0.5%
Two or More 5.1%
|Median household income:||$63,990|
|High school graduation rate:||86.6%|
|College graduation rate:||41.4%|
|Related San Diego offices|
|California Congressional Delegation|
California State Legislature
California state executive offices
- 1 City government
- 2 Elections
- 3 Budget
- 4 Contact information
- 5 Lobbying
- 6 Ballot measures
- 7 Issues in the city
- 8 Public pensions
- 9 Website evaluation
- 10 See also
- 11 External links
- 12 References
- See also: Mayor-council government
The city of San Diego utilizes a "strong mayor" and city council system. In this form of municipal government, the city council serves as the city's primary legislative body while the mayor serves as the city's chief executive.
The mayor serves as the city's chief executive officer and is responsible for proposing a budget, signing legislation into law, appointing departmental directors and overseeing the city's day-to-day operations. The mayor also represents the city on the state, national and international levels. Kevin Faulconer is the current Mayor of San Diego.
The San Diego City Council is the city's primary legislative body. It is responsible for adopting the city budget, approving mayoral appointees, levying taxes and making or amending city laws, policies and ordinances.
The San Diego City Council is made up of nine members, each of whom is elected by the city's nine districts seen on the map below.
A current list of council members can be found here.
The San Diego City Council features seven standing committees, which focus on individual policy and legislative issues. Generally, the drafting of city legislation begins with the committees.
A current list of San Diego City Council committees can be found here.
Boards and commissions
A series of advisory boards and commissions that are made up of non-elected citizens, whom city council members have appointed and approved, advises the San Diego City Council. The roles of these boards and commissions are to review, debate and comment upon city policies and legislation and to make recommendations to the city council.
For a full list of San Diego city boards and commissions, see here.
In city council, four seats were up for election. A primary election for these seats took place on June 3, 2014. In Districts 2, 4 and 8, the primary winners received a majority of the votes and did not have to run in the general election on November 4. District 6 was the only San Diego council race that remained to be decided in the November 4 general election.
The city's budget process operates by Fiscal Years running from July 1 to June 30 of the next year. The budget process begins with the council passing a Budget Priorities Resolution. Next, the Mayor, COO and CFO develop a budget proposal by working with city departments. The council then holds public budget hearings and committee meetings, while making amendments as necessary. The final budget is passed in June. The city is required by state law to maintain a balanced budget.
The adopted budget for fiscal year 2015 totals $3.0 billion. It includes new funding for municipal infrastructure, public safety and neighborhood development projects.
The adopted budget for fiscal year 2014 totaled $2.8 billion. It included infrastructure improvements, a new Computer Aided Dispatch System, police retention and additional hourly life guards.
Office of the City Clerk
202 C Street, 2nd Floor
San Diego, CA 92101
Office Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.
Office of the Mayor
202 C Street, 11th Floor
San Diego, CA 92101
In 2013, San Diego's federal lobbying related expenses amounted to approximately $50,000. The issues for which the city filed in 2013, as well as the number of reports, can be seen in the box below. The issues column lists the generic issues that lobbyists working for local governments are required by law to disclose on quarterly federal disclosure forms. The reports column gives the number of reports lobbyists filed in regards to each generic issue. To learn more about the details of the specific issues for which San Diego filed reports, read the federal disclosure forms by clicking the "Issues" links in the box below. San Diego maintains a list of all registered lobbyists associated with the city. It is available on the City Clerk's website.
|Federal Lobbying Issues, 2013|
|1||Fed Budget & Appropriations|
San Diego has its own initiative process for charter amendments and ordinances determined by the city charter. There are no specific subject matter restrictions for petitions. Signature requirements are 3% of the registered voters of the city at the last general city election for presentation to the legislature and 10% for the ballot. Circulators must wait 21 days after publication of intention to circulate and must turn in petitions 180 days after said publication. Circulators may be either paid or volunteer, but they must be a U.S. citizen and at least 18 years of age. The city code determines the format of the petition. The pre-approval process includes registration and publication in a newspaper of the intention to circulate. If 3% sign, then the petition goes to the legislature for passage. If at least 10% sign, then it proceeds to the ballot. A simple majority determines the outcome of the election.
Issues in the city
In Spring 2015, rumors emerged that the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders were preparing to leave their current stadiums to share a $1.7 billion stadium in Carson, California, which is in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The team current plays in Qualcomm Stadium, which was funded jointly by the city and county in 1964. Those involved in a new stadium proposal to keep the team in the area noted that such a joint effort would be beneficial again, since the county has a triple-A credit rating and hundreds of millions of dollars in cash reserves. Diane Jacob, a county supervisor, said of any potential deal, "If county government puts skin into the game, we must make sure that any agreement with the Chargers is a good deal for taxpayers. And that's my bottom line."
Dean Spanos, President of the Chargers, has stated publicly that the team would prefer to remain in the city. Mayor Kevin Faulconer has promised that any proposed stadium deal would go before voters in the city, even if such a vote was not mandated by law.
A Firefighter was awarded $424,000 in 2010 after winning a lawsuit that proved he was fired in retaliation for reporting corrupt behavior within the department. The fire fighter, Paul Vandeveld, was suspended after trying to stop harassment of a colleague who helped reveal the city's pension scandal.
Transparency and public records
In 2006, San Diego was sanctioned by the Securities and Exchange Commission for failing to alert investors about its pension and health plan obligations. Since then, the city has earned praise for its turnaround on transparency as it relates to the issuance of municipal bonds.
- See also: California public pensions
City employees can contribute to a Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP), which allows them to place city pensions into a special account with guaranteed interest during the last five years of employment. A recent report by CFFR revealed that the top ten pension pays will cost taxpayers $61 million. The report also showed that public officials in San Diego contribute only 8 percent to their pension plans, as opposed to the traditional 23 percent.
Another aspect of the pensions are sick day buyouts, with the highest one being $118,605. The benefit cost the city $2.5 million from 2007 to 2011. The city also awarded $73.5 million in pension bonuses from 1984 to 2011, with the highest payout being $$299,000.
Mayor Jerry Sanders proposed mandating that new employees be signed on to a 401k like pension instead of the previous city plan. The city proposed this to save costs as it faced a $72 million budget gap and $2.1 billion in unfunded pension liability. As a result of the budget gap, the city was forced to layoff 1,400 of its 11,000 employees.
A pension initiative was approved by two-thirds of voters on the June 2012 ballot to eliminate guaranteed pensions for most new city hires and give them a 401(k)-style plan instead. The measure imposed a six-year freeze on pay levels used to determine pension benefits unless a two-thirds majority of the City Council votes to override it. It also puts new hires, except for police officers, into 401(k)-style plans.
- See also: Evaluation of California city websites
|Transparency grading process|
- Elected officials
- Contact information is available for administrative staff.
- Planning information, including Official Zoning maps, is available through the Development Services Department. Specific zoning information is available on request.
- Information regarding current and past registered lobbyists, as well as lobbying requirements, is available.
- Public records
- Public Record Act request information is available.
- Membership and fees paid to any taxpayer funded lobbying associations is not disclosed.
- Official city website
- Office of the Mayor
- San Diego City Council
- San Diego Office of Budget and Management
- San Diego City Charter
- Forbes, "Richest Cities In The U.S.," October 28, 2005
- Forbes, "America's Safest Cities," October 11, 2010
- San Diego City Charter, Art. XV 250-295, accessed on October 29, 2014
- San Diego City Charter, Art. V 24-25, accessed on October 29, 2014
- City of San Diego, "Office of the Mayor," accessed on October 29, 2014
- San Diego City Charter, Art. III 11-23, accessed on October 29, 2014
- City of San Diego, "City Council," accessed on October 29, 2014
- City of San Diego, "Committees," accessed on October 29, 2014
- City of San Diego, "Boards and Commissions," accessed on October 29, 2014
- U-T San Diego, "Faulconer wins mayor's race," February 11, 2014
- The City of San Diego, "June 3, 2014 Primary Election," accessed March 10, 2014
- City of San Diego, "A Citizen's Guide to the City's Budget Process & the FY 2014 Adopted Budget," accessed June 6, 2014
- City of San Diego, "Fiscal Year 2015 Adopted Budget," accessed on February 6, 2015
- City of San Diego, "Fiscal Year 2014 Adopted Budget," accessed on February 6, 2015
- Open Secrets, "City of San Diego, CA," accessed June 6, 2014
- U.S. House of Representatives: Office of the Clerk, "Lobbying Disclosure Act Guidance," accessed on November 11, 2014
- Open Secrets, "Methodology," accessed on November 11, 2014
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- ABC 30, "City, county unite to keep Chargers," April 2, 2015
- Los Angeles Times, "San Diego officials willing to put stadium deal before voters," March 26, 2015
- Sigon San Diego, "San Diego firefighter wins $424,000 from city in court," December 20, 2010
- San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego praised for transparency on muni bonds," March 29, 2011
- Signon San Diego, "City pensions are higher with DROP," September 29, 2010
- CFFR, "10 former San Diego city employees will split $61 million in pensions," October 4, 2010 (dead link)
- Signons San Diego, "County payouts for sick leave: $2.5 million," February 15, 2011
- Sigon San Diego, "‘13th check’ pension payouts: $73 million," February 17, 2011
- Business Week, "San Diego's Tough-Love Pension Proposal," December 9, 2010
- San Diego Union Tribune, "Ballot measure aims to revamp pension system," March 24, 2011
- Rancho Bernardo Patch, "Pension Reform Measure Officially on June Ballot," January 30, 2012
- City of San Diego, "Proposed Budget," accessed August 6, 2014
- City of San Diego, "Adopted Budget," accessed August 6, 2014
- City of San Diego, "Financial Outlook," accessed August 6, 2014
- City of San Diego, "Audit," accessed August 6, 2014
- City of San Diego, "Audit Archives," accessed August 6, 2014
- City of San Diego, "Mayor," accessed August 6, 2014
- City of San Diego, "City Council," accessed August 6, 2014
- City of San Diego, "City Council Meetings," accessed August 6, 2014
- City of San Diego, "City Council Committee Meetings," accessed August 6, 2014
- City of San Diego, "Council Archives," accessed August 6, 2014
- City of San Diego, "Departments," accessed August 6, 2014
- City of San Diego, "Services Department," accessed August 6, 2014
- City of San Diego, "Purchasing," accessed August 6, 2014
- City of San Diego, "Bid Tabulations," accessed August 6, 2014
- City of San Diego, "Taxes and Fees," accessed August 6, 2014
- City of San Diego, "Other Taxes and Fees," accessed August 6, 2014
- City of San Diego, "Lobbying," accessed August 6, 2014
- City of San Diego, "Public Records Request," accessed August 6, 2014
State of California
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|State executive offices||
Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Controller | Treasurer | State Auditor | Superintendent of Public Instruction | Commissioner of Insurance | Secretary of Agriculture | Secretary for Natural Resources | Director of Industrial Relations | President of Public Utilities |