Mayor Bob Filner yesterday (May 21) released revisions to his proposed 2013-2014 fiscal year budget, taking advantage of anticipated increased property tax revenues and savings from a newly negotiated lease on office space to increase spending by $11 million.
According to a release from the mayor’s office, the following items are among those that have been added to the budget proposal:
- Addition of $50,000 in to maintain and clean the portable restrooms in the Downtown area and the Portland Loos – Environmental Services Department
- Addition of $2.4 million funded by one-time SAFE funds to begin the upgrade of the City’s Traffic Control System -- Transportation and Stormwater
- Addition of two dispatchers, one criminalist, and one police investigative service officer to support operations – San Diego Police Department
- Addition of a biologist to assist in open space brush management – Parks and Recreation.
- Addition of $50,000 for the operations and monitoring of the Seal Cam – Parks and Recreation.
- Addition of $44,000 for the Portable Pool Program – Parks and Recreation
- Addition of $600,000 in a full year of operations of the Veterans Homeless Shelter – Economic Development.
- Addition of $50,000 to sustain the Homeless Check-in Center – Economic Development
- Addition of $620,000 for a Lifeguard Sergeant, Marine Safety Captain, a Lifeguard Scheduling Sergeant and a Lifeguard Advance Academy – San Diego Fire Rescue
- Addition of $1 million for fuel costs – San Diego Fire Rescue
“Revenue projections are up slightly, mirroring the improving economic conditions in the region and the State,” says Filner. “This is good news because in addition to having a balanced budget, we can put more money into fixing streets and sidewalks, adding more lifeguards and police personnel, and ensuring that there is a year-round shelter for our homeless veterans.”
“It’s been a month since I released the draft budget. During that time, I’ve listened to the City Council members who relayed constituent concerns to me and who have had a significant impact on these revisions.”
Filner describes the budget as “transitional,” saying he intends to review operations of every department. His office further states that the revised budget plan increases general fund reserves to 13 percent, and does not include projected savings from a potential renegotiated pension deal with city workers – the mayor’s office says that could save another $60 million over three years, but any action on the pension front is stalled while labor interests litigate over the voter-approved Proposition B, which would curtail any future access to pension accounts for city employees.