Jerry Sanders was elected to a second term in the June 2008 primary election, giving him the opportunity to build on the substantial progress he has made toward restoring financial stability and accountability to San Diego city government.
Since taking office in late 2005 following the resignation of the previous mayor, Mayor Sanders has made great strides in reforming city government. His top-down streamlining of city business operations has eliminated more than 900 positions from the city budget, while he negotiated permanent changes to the pension system that will deliver millions of dollars in savings to generations of San Diego taxpayers. In addition, he devised a long-range plan to address San Diego's underfunded pension and established a retiree health care trust to finally address this $1.5 billion obligation.
In addition to his broad reform agenda, Mayor Sanders has placed a high priority on economic growth and job creation during his time in office. Specifically, the mayor has been a champion of the region’s promising clean technology industry - including solar energy, biofuels and other environmentally friendly products.
In 2008, San Diego was the first major U.S. city to launch a residential solar-financing program that will provide low-cost loans to homeowners for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. These loans, which transfer to a new owner when the property is sold, would remove significant barriers to adoption of solar power.
Over the course of his 30-year career, Sanders has transformed organizations to make them more effective, efficient and responsive to the public. Before becoming Mayor, Sanders served as San Diego's Chief of Police from 1993 until 1999, capping a 26-year career with the Police Department. During his time as Chief, he helped make San Diego's community policing program a national model.
After leaving the Police Department, Sanders became the CEO of United Way, taking over an organization that had lost the trust of many of its donors and the agencies it supported. He slashed bureaucracy, restored the organization's effectiveness and increased fundraising by almost 20 percent.
In 2002, Sanders was appointed to the American Red Cross board after the CEO and board of directors had been removed amid controversy. He made the organization's finances transparent, oversaw major staff changes and restored the organization's credibility and trust.
Mayor Sanders is committed to accomplishing the same for the city of San Diego.