San Diego Mayor to discuss homelessness, Chargers in 'State of t - KUSI News - San Diego, CA

San Diego Mayor to discuss homelessness, Chargers in 'State of the City' address

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SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer is expected to discuss new financial challenges, homelessness and the Chargers when he delivers his third "State of the City" address Thursday night. 

This year's mayoral address, which is open to the public, is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Ave.

Faulconer started a new term last month after finishing the remainder of scandal-plagued Bob Filner's term. He was reelected in June by a comfortable margin over two opponents. Now, the mayor and other city officials face mounting problems as 2017 begins, starting with a growing shortfall for the
upcoming fiscal year.

In November, city financial staff issued a report that projected a gap of around $37 million for the fiscal year that begins July 1, and that was not
counting several high-priority projects and initiatives.

The difference between expenses and revenues, attributed to a higher city contribution to the employee pension system, has since grown by $9.7
million. That could delay the implementation of programs, force spending cutbacks by city agencies and reduce the amount of money available to combat
problems like homelessness.

The number of people living on the streets has seemingly ballooned over the past year, resulting in tent cities in the East Village and substantial
numbers of transients wandering downtown streets. The growth has come even though the city has started programs that pair long-term housing with social services such as substance abuse treatment, mental health counseling and job search assistance.

An annual countywide tally of the homeless is scheduled for Jan. 27.

In last year's speech, Faulconer unveiled a plan to offer incentives to landlords to rent apartments to 1,000 homeless veterans. early 750 veterans are
enrolled in the program, with 468 finding housing, according to the San Diego Housing Commission. Last month, the mayor said the program was making progress, but more work was needed.

Like last year, the question of whether the Chargers will continue to call San Diego home remains unresolved. Now that his bid to build downtown stadium has been rejected by voters, team owner Dean Spanos has until Tuesday to announce whether he will give staying home another shot or have his franchise become the second National Football League team in the Los Angeles area. ESPN reported that the Chargers' decision could be announced Thrusday.

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