Good and bad news in Mayor’s budget
Faulconer commits to protecting core services, furthering reform
San Diego City Council President Pro Tem Kevin Faulconer issued the following statement today in response to Mayor Jerry Sanders’ budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2012, which begins July 1:
- There’s clearly some good news in the Mayor’s budget proposal, and there’s clearly some bad news.
- I want to thank the Mayor for working with the City Council to end the fire engine brownouts, a significant step that will positively affect every neighborhood in San Diego. It’s our top priority because there simply is no more important role in government than protecting the public.
- The bad news is this budget proposal recommends cuts to libraries and rec centers.
- We must continue to cut the City’s overhead, waste and unsustainable benefits – not community services that are important to students, children and families, especially families struggling to make ends meet during these tough economic times.
- It’s important to note that this is the first phase of public budget deliberations. Now it’s the Council’s turn.
- When the Council and the Mayor wrap up budget deliberations this summer, I’m confident you will see a budget that protects all of the City’s core services.
- What’s that mean? Library and rec center cuts are only about $14 million – cuts that the Council will work with our Mayor to fill.
- Juxtapose that $14 million with our annual pension payment – $231 million – and you’ll quickly understand why I’m partnering with the Mayor, Councilman Carl DeMaio and others to eliminate the pension system as we know it, end pension spiking and move new employees into a 401(k) style plan.
- Our plan will save San Diego taxpayers millions of dollars and help the city balance future budgets. It is San Diego’s long-term solution to its budget and pension problems.
- In the short-term, there are many other reforms and cost efficiencies the City can implement this year before we cut programs so central to San Diegans.
- I am proud that the City Council – under the leadership of Council President Tony Young and Budget Chair Todd Gloria – put our suggestions in writing this week. Some of them are included in the Mayor’s budget proposal. Some are not.
- Over the coming weeks, I will strongly consider the Council’s cost-saving solutions as alternatives to cutting libraries and recreation centers.
- I have worked with the Mayor, Council President Young and Councilman Gloria to help shape this budget, but we clearly have more to do. We will continue to work together to craft a budget that San Diegans can support.