City Council sends budget ‘game plan’ to Mayor
SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The San Diego City Council Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution intended to inform Mayor Jerry Sanders of the panel's budget priorities.
Councilman Todd Gloria called the document “a game plan of what (the council) can support.”
The resolution reflects a change in tactics by the City Council, which usually tackles the mayor's budget proposal after it has been created.
Sanders is expected to release his budget plan for the 2011-12 fiscal year on Thursday. The mayor projects a budget deficit of $56.7 million.
Many of the provisions in the resolution have already been aired publicly and considered by the mayor.
Council President Tony Young said he, along with Gloria and Councilman Kevin Faulconer, recently met with Sanders, and a preliminary copy of the resolution was on the mayor's desk.
“They have been paying attention,” Young said.
Among other things, council members want to find money to increase funding for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department in order to restore at least some of the fire engines that were cut back this year to save $11.5 million. The move resulted in slower response times.
The mayor will reportedly propose a phased-in return of the fire engines.
The council also hopes to limit service and staff reductions at libraries and recreation centers, and find money to reduce a backlog of capital funding for major construction or maintenance projects.
The cost-cutting measures could have the city as much as $46.9 million, according to Gloria.
Council members Carl DeMaio and Lorie Zapf both opposed ideas to raise fees. DeMaio said he would support the resolution to the mayor, but would not support a final budget with fee increases, citing the difficult economy.