DeMaio keeps his taxpayer checks while attacking public safety
As the city grapples with a fragile budget recovery and begins charting the course to restoring services and once again making improvements to our communities, it's important for voters to weigh who is going to invest their tax dollars wisely. But despite Carl DeMaio's efforts to spin away the reality of his record, while on the council he has relentlessly hacked away at public safety funds while refusing a pay cut himself and handing out raises to his own staff. Even if he doesn't like to admit it.
DeMaio is long on rhetoric, but the reality is much different than the story Carl wants to sell. After Carl DeMaio helped impose a 6% pay cut for city workers, he refused to take the same cut himself. For some reason, DeMaio tries to deny this whenever someone brings it up, but facts are facts. While other councilmembers were taking the same paycut that other city employees were getting, Carl DeMaio said no.
It's particularly noteworthy for a couple reasons. One, it isn't like he needs those taxdollars. He took millions in government contracts before joining the council, and we've seen as he's put nearly $750,000 of his own money into just this campaign.
Two, DeMaio thinks that anyone who can afford to work for free has a civic obligation to do so. And as he was refusing to take the pay cut, he was saying "Elected officials should certainly lead by example." Except when it's actually him.
Meanwhile, he went out and distributed raises to his staff. He likes to claim that he didn't give those raises, but he did. And since he took office, salaries in his office have actually gone up. The record shows it, but DeMaio claims "they're just simply not true." Number are numbers though, even if DeMaio doesn't much care about numbers.
At the same time, the San Diego Police Department is down hundreds of positions since DeMaio took office, and the first thing he did back in 2008 was blast the council for postponing fire, library and rec center closures. And as soon as he took office, he was the lone vote against maintaining fire service levels and saving libraries and rec centers.
After slipping emergency response times had tragic results in DeMaio's district, he was the lone vote against emergency funding to maintain service levels. And in December 2009, he opposed a budget plan that eliminated public safety programs, slashed city services and laid off 200 city workers because he didn't think it went far enough.
He's targeting firefighters and lifeguards already with Proposition B and has been clear that police officers would be next in line. But there's no indication that DeMaio plans to start sacrificing himself any time soon. If this is what Carl DeMaio means by 'leading by example,' where exactly is he trying to lead San Diego?