Jerry Sanders: Complete Failure?

Sunshine Sunshine 12 Comments


First, a very important tenet for me. I do not use the term “RINO” or take shots at someone’s conservative credentials lightly, I cannot stress that enough. Now that we have that out of the way…

Seriously? Jerry Sanders. Seriously, dude? At this point it isn’t “what have you done for us lately”, it is what have you done for us at all.

I mean that in all seriousness. Looking back at the Mayor’s time in office from the beginning until now is anything really better that wouldn’t have been fixed regardless? San Diego certainly hit a rock-bottom a few years ago and could only improve, but has the Mayor done ANYTHING beyond not setting fire to buildings to improve the city?

I welcome comments on Mayor Jerry Sanders’ accomplishments and positive things he has done as Mayor. I honestly hope I am missing something and someone can paint a more positive picture of the Mayor for me, I want to like him, I really do…


Comments 12

  1. I don’t disagree with you. Maybe I should go get some “Don’t blame me, I vote for Francis” bumper stickers printed.

  2. When the Honorable Jerry Sanders was elected, there was a strong push by credible civic leaders for the city to declare bankruptcy mimicking Orange County. Stalwart Republican, Dick Murphy, had followed Republican Senatorial Candidate and two-term Mayor Susan Golding in leading “America’s Finest City” to become “Enron by the Sea” by governing over an unprecedented sell-out to municipal employee unions as accurately named ‘weak mayor’ governments. Could we go any lower. In a word – yes. Given that the city was fiscally burning to the ground, we should thank our lucky stars he showed up with a fire extinguisher and a sense of decency, duty and work ethic to quietly put us on the enviable path of not only correcting a sequence of years of fiscal mismanagement that left the City unqualified to secure bonds to repair our infrastructure, but is now finally negotiating an end-game to the Great Pension Heist of 2000. Because of Jerry Sanders, there is finally light at the end of the tunnel and it’s not a train coming toward us. Perhaps that’s not as sexy and titillating as some would want, but I’ll take a courageous firefighter with a box of arm and hammer over a gaggle of politicians with a book of matches any day of the week. Mayor Sanders is perhaps San Diego finest – and most unappreciated – mayor of all time.

  3. Sanders will go down as a failed Mayor — and we will soon find out he has been dishonest about a number of things related to city finances.

  4. Sanders, like most of the City Council is a liberal and as long as you have liberals in elected positions Cities, States and the Federal Government will continue in decline. Sanders has never run a business and has chosen his cronies to help him. Kind of like the blind leading the blind. The outrage is that people are not yelling from the rooftops about the incompetence of the San Diego City Council and mayor.

    Well, you get what you pay for and in this case vote for. San Diego just made the top ten list of most expensive cities in the USA. What do we have to offer anymore other than weather? Lived here since 1950 and I have never seen it this bad as our City, State and Federal government are in turmoil because of the absence of leadership.

  5. Folks, if you are going to weigh in here with unsubstantiated charges of “dishonesty,” you need to be able to back it up, or we will cut you off.

    Look at it this way: “Hey, Politician X we will soon find out has been cheating on his/her spouse and taking bribes. Nothing yet on this, but it will come out.”

    What’s the difference?

  6. Political Leanings 101:

    Filner, Filner, Filner = Left-of-left Liberal
    Davis, Kehoe, Vargas = Liberals
    R. Rider/G. Faulkenthal/Chip F. = Libertarians
    Bilbray, Fletcher, Sanders = Conservatives
    Francis, Hunter, Issa = Right-of-right Conservatives

    Me? I’m a moderate, of course.

  7. He’s dishonest about city finances.

    He says the pension has been sufficiently reformed, and then we learn the costs are skyrocketing again.

    He says he won’t raise taxes on July 10, and then by July 30 he says he supports tax increases.

    He says he won’t take his full salary, then quietly takes the full thing.

    He says his budget balances, and then it completely falls apart into a deficit.

    Should i go on? I don’t have to — as history will put Sanders in the column of failed mayors. And in time more and more of these fiscal problems will come to light that he has done nothing about.

  8. Let’s see. According to Paul, Sanders is a conservative. Oh really??

    Would a conservative secretly go to the SDUSD board and offer a deal where — if the school district would delay its parcel tax until the following election (to not interfere with the city’s sales tax measure) — Mayor Sanders and the two most far left members of the city council (Hueso and Gloria) would go to Sacramento and lobby for the reduction of the 2/3 vote requirement on parcel taxes down to 55%?

    In other words, would a conservative act to make taxes easier to pass by gutting Prop 13 and lowering the required voter percentage needed?

    Maybe a MODERATE might think that slimy backroom deal is what constitutes a conservative’s viewpoint, but I doubt there are many true conservatives on this board who would agree with that assessment. Or even moderates!!

  9. I’m glad you asked what Jerry Sanders has done for San Diego. By no means is this an exhaustive list, but here are some of the measures Sanders has implemented since he took office:

    – Permanently cut compensation for employees, across the board, by 6 percent — establishing a new salary baseline and saving the city $43 million per year.

    – Permanently cut more than 1,000 positions from the city budget, saving over $70 million per year.

    – Performed and implemented efficiency studies (BPR) in a majority of city departments, eliminating the need for 400 employees and saving taxpayers nearly $40 million per year.

    – Eliminated underused vehicles and lengthened the life cycle of fleet vehicles by two years, for a total annual savings of more than $10 million.

    – Eliminated the underused community service center program, saving more than $1 million per year.

    – Eliminating a top management tier, laying off four well-paid deputy COOs with six-figure salaries and their assistants.

    – Established a two-tier pension system that reduces benefits and increases the employee contribution for new employees.

    – Reduced the DROP interest rate, for a savings of $1.4 million in the FY2011 ARC payment.

    – Instituted a citywide salary freeze that reduced the FY11 ARC payment by $8.6 million.

    Many of these successes — particularly the concession cuts and pension reform — were hard-won concessions from labor or required a vote to impose by a largely labor-backed City Council.

    No other mayor has wielded his power so judiciously and effectively, continuing to accomplish reforms even after the 2008 election of a council that could have paralyzed reform progress.

    Thanks for asking.

  10. Thanks Rachel for defending your boss — he does pay your salary of course.

    Here are some facts as well:

    – Sanders refuses to reform the flawed “Bid-to-Goal” program in the Water Department where city employees have received over $28M in bonuses for just showing up to work. Have you seen your water bill lately Rachel?

    – The 6% cut was not “permanent” as you say — those concessions sunset in 2012. Nice try.

    – Jerry cut vacant positions, not real ones. Tell us Rachel, how many pink slips/layoffs actually happened? Less than 60 — compare that to the private sector. Welcome to the real world Rachel.

    – Jerry has NOT implemented Managed Competition, and now in his ballot measure is content to kill the program with an unfair and meaningless “guide” that puts zero functions up to competitive bid.

    – Jerry has allowed the city to buy hundreds of new vehicles even though the city has 4000 vehicles — nearly one for every 2 employees.

    – Jerry has a bloated management team and doubled the size of the press staff compared to the previous mayor.

    – Jerry has done nothing to reform pensions for current employees — which is where our debt comes from. Instead he attacks anyone who attempts to advance real pension reform. (Gee, Thanks Jerry!)

    – Jerry has seen the pension payment skyrocket in his term — to $230M annually. But he goes out in public and says “it is going down.” Not true, get a clue.

    -Jerry refuses to disclose the city’s infrastructure debt. Sounds transparent, doesn’t it?


    -During Jerry’s term, the city’s budget has grown (more spending) and the city’s pension debt has increased.

  11. “Sunshine” posted “I welcome comments on Mayor Jerry Sanders’ accomplishments and positive things he has done as Mayor.”

    Both Rachael and I responded to this request without diminishing those who disagree. We each provided accurate, honest albeit positive assessment of the Mayor’s accomplishments totally in-line with the post’s request.

    On the other had, Mr. Rider posts a defamatory claim of a ‘secret deal’ (if it’s secret, how does he know about it?) with the intent of discrediting the mayor’s conservative credentials. Freshman polisci students learn that conservatives, viewed from Rider’s Libertarian POV, appear liberal. For example, Libertarian Rand Paul views mainstream policies such as Medicare ‘socialism’ and seat-belt and anti-smoking laws as ‘Nanny-state'” paternalism. To Libertarians like Rider, a politician like Bob Filner looks like America’s version of Fidel Castro and Che when, in fact, he’s just an obnoxious, corrupt liberal Democrat.

    “Fact Check Needed on Sanders!” starts with a sophomoric attack to discredit Rachael by identifying her true motives for ‘defending your boss.’ Here’s a fact: using a veil of anonymity to accuse the mayor of a lack of transparency is the very definition of hypocrisy. The hypocrisy blends smoothly with irony as she sites fact and figures that are literally impossible to have in hand WITHOUT transparency – “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

    This confirms two things: my assertion that Mayor Sanders is perhaps San Diego’s most unappreciated mayor of all time and, based on at least Rachael’s post, he has brought a much-needed level of civility and maturity to the public discourse. Clearly, the same claim can’t be made for his detractors.

  12. Who’s spinning, anonymous commenter?

    – Your water bills have gone up not because wholesale water costs have increased — costs out of the city’s control.

    – Cutting a vacant position that is waiting to be filled is the same as cutting a filled position. I know many are disappointed the mayor is not single-handedly raising the local unemployment rate, but it still saves taxpayers money when you cut vacant positions as well as filled. It’s eliminating the liability of cost and permanently reducing the overall size of the workforce.

    – The mayor’s press staff has a far more expansive set of duties than that of previous mayors, who were basically councilmembers with certain protocol/figurehead duties. This mayor is a chief executive in constant communication with the media and public. The mayor’s three remaining press staffers (one was laid off in 2008) facilitate all press inquiries and Public Records Act requests for the media for the entire city. (P.S. the number and sophistication of media outlets have grown since Murphy’s time, and Murphy more often than not was unavailable to the press.)

    – Pension reform for current employees is hampered by the state Constitution, which prohibits rolling back vested benefits for public employees. Employees are vested in the pension system the day they start, unfortunately. Hence the emphasis on reducing benefits for new employees.

    – The pension debt (unfunded accrued actuarial liability) is a function of many factors, chief among them investment performance. You might have noticed a severe down market? Of course the UAAL goes up in a bear market — but it will also go down when the market improves. Unlike prior administrations, Sanders is making the full Annual Required Contribution (ARC) — and has been since he took office.

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