City Council divided over proposed city infrastructure measure

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MIRA MESA, Calif. – With the foundation cracking and the net barely hanging on the hoop, the Mira Mesa Community Park is in need of repair.

Created in 1977, City Council Mark Kersey’s office estimates the park has a $3 million repair backlog.

To fix San Diego’s ailing infrastructure, Kersey authored Proposition H, a measure he’s pushing for the California Primary election on June 7.

“It’s about streets, it’s about infrastructure, fire stations, storm water, all those kinds of thing you expect your tax dollars to pay for,” said City Councilman Scott Sherman.

Sherman was one of seven council members who support Proposition H or Rebuild San Diego.

“This measure basically guarantees we spent a certain amount of future revenue on infrastructure,” said Sherman.

Sherman said the measure will capture 50 percent of future general tax revenue and earmark it for the next five years. Future funding would come from pension reform.

“Even more, there’s no debt on future generations by passing bonds,” said Sherman.

But two council members oppose Proposition H, saying it does too little to address San Diego's huge backlog in street repairs and infrastructure improvements.

“There is no money being set aside,” said David Alvarez, City Councilman. “What this proposition allows for is the future use for things that are not related to infrastructure.”

Alvarez, who is against Prop. H, said the measure does not guarantee any funding for infrastructure and instead creates loopholes for items like employee bonuses. He said the problems Prop. H addresses should not have to wait for tomorrow and can be fixed now.

“Our budget is increasing every single year by the tens of millions. If we actually wanted to solve this we would set aside that money starting today,” said Alvarez.

Alvarez said he put forth his own measure, only to see it shot down by the City Council. Instead council members voted 7 to 2 to support Proposition H.

“It makes sure we put in a good plan. It makes sure we don’t raise taxes and we don’t keep mounds of debt,” said Sherman.

The two council members who voted against the measure were Alvarez and Councilman Todd Gloria.

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