Neighborhood services, public safety top items in 2016 Faulconer budget
Published - 04/14/15 - 06:59 AM | 3817 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Amid a gathering of city staff, residents and families at Skyline Hills Community Park in southeastern San Diego, Mayor Kevin Faulconer April 13 released his second “One San Diego” City budget proposal, outlining a $3.2 billion plan to direct more money toward streets, parks, neighborhood services and public safety in Fiscal Year 2016.

“This budget is ‘One San Diego’ in action,” Faulconer said. “It funds services that give more San Diegans in more communities the opportunity to succeed. San Diegans will see more street repairs, better parks and more equality to neighborhood services, so your community is thriving no matter where you live.”

The proposed budget includes items on the mayor’s pledge to make streets the City’s top infrastructure priority. The proposal include fixing more than 300 miles of streets – double the amount repaired annually when Faulconer first took office; increased funding for sidewalk and streetlight improvements; additional code compliance officers to target slumlords; Expansions to existing afterschool and youth jobs programs; and more code enforcement officers to shut down illegal medical marijuana dispensaries.

Faulconer’s budget plan also continues his stated intention to spend at least half of all new major revenue growth – from property, sales and transient occupancy taxes as well as franchise fees – on fixing San Diego neighborhoods. That plan will lead to an additional $41 million for infrastructure and neighborhood repair efforts in Fiscal Year 2016.

“It’s a balanced, fiscally responsible budget that builds upon my commitment to fiscal reform,” Faulconer said. “When I ran for mayor, I promised to dedicate half of all major revenue growth to efforts to repair our aging infrastructure and neighborhoods. That’s exactly what I did last year, and I’m doing it again this year.”

The budget plan also calls for $2 million to support homeless services; more staff to work on community plan updates; four police recruit academies; three firefighter academies; and $5.6 million to upgrade the Police Department’s antiquated dispatch system.

The $3.2 billion budget proposal recommends spending levels for City operations for Fiscal Year 2016, which runs from July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016. The final budget will be adopted in June following several weeks of review by the public and City Council. Faulconer will formally present the budget to the City Council at 2 p.m. April 14 in the City Council chambers.

City Council President and La Jolla representative Sherri Lightner said of the plan: “After years of sacrifices on the part of our residents, communities and city staff, it’s encouraging to see a budget that continues to provide essential services such as public safety and infrastructure and restores recreation programs, parks, libraries and other city programs and facilities.”

Councilmember Todd Gloria, Chair of the council’s Budget Committee, added that “In my fifth year leading the Budget Committee, I’m very happy to be talking about adding back more services for San Diegans instead of what we’re going to cut to make ends meet.”

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