San Diego is just one of those cities that have had serious financial problems for a long time, but now the options are running out.
A private task force of prominent local business leaders formed by San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders is recommending the city file for bankruptcy unless it undergoes a series of urgent and drastic fiscal reforms, according to a draft of the group's report.
For six weeks, the mayor and his deputies have insisted that the national and local economic recessions, not structural financial problems, are the primary drivers of the city's current $200 million deficit. In contrast, the draft states that "virtually all" of the deficit is structural, meaning the city is set up to spend more money than it takes in.
Next week, Sanders plans to release budget reduction proposals based on recommendations he received from all city departments, including police and fire. He has said he hopes to lower the deficit by $60 million -- an amount more than 1.5 times the entire library department's budget -- by January.