“So we present to you a balanced budget,” said Mayor Filner.
The budget is a proposed $2.75 billion spending plan.
“We have made gains after a very tough period Mayor Sanders brought us through,” said Filner.
Filner’s budget began with a promise to focus on neighborhoods, provide help to the less fortunate and also made improvements to public safety.
“We’re adding 16 positions and $1.2 million for police academy and recruits,” explained Filner.
The mayor’s budget added a total of 38 full-time positions citywide, but it does bring cuts to City Attorney Jan Goldsmith’s office. Filner wants to slash $1.4 million or 13 positions.
“This is just a couple percent,” said Filner. “It’s not a major thing, there are vacancies in all the departments that we had mandated, so I’m not sure it’s any problem,”
Filner said the move was to bring the City Attorney’s office in line with other city departments. While Filner he’s leaving it up to Goldsmith to make the cuts, Goldsmith said Filner identified specific employees in his office.
“We are certainly willing to work with the City Council on our budget, as we have each year. But if we need to reduce our budget, we will not allow the Mayor to decide who gets laid off.”
“I balanced it in ways that I thought were responsible,” said Filner.
That responsibility included using what the Mayor called “one time revenues.”
“The major thing we used was about a $20 million monies that came from a settlement with SDG&E over their fire liabilities,” said Filner.
The new budget does not include improvements to the city’s ailing infrastructure, but the Mayor said he’s working on it.
“This is going to be a process, we’re putting more with our capital improvement budget into streets,” said Filner. “We still have you know by one count $1 billion in backlog for work in our city. We’re going to do a better job.”