Mayor: City faces $37M deficit

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SAN DIEGO – When Mayor Bob Filner was sworn into office San Diego was considered financially health with a surplus. On Wednesday, the budget appeared to be in the red.

Filner announced new projections about a looming fiscal deficit.

“I’ve called them landmines or time bombs,” said Filner. “There are several things that can go off in the next month that will severely alter budget projections.”

Broken water main pipes, fixing pot holes, increase police and fire…all things that a balanced budget would have allowed the mayor fund.

Mayor Bob Filner“It’s going to hit the city in terms of funds for water sewer and maybe road improvements,” he said. “It a problem.”

Hoping to accurately manage expectations, Filner gave an honest reality check of the city’s financial health – 2013 will find us with a deficit in the neighborhood of $37 million.

“Hopefully, we don’t get to this point,” said the mayor, outlining where the money is going.

State rules to cut funding for redevelopment projects like Petco Park, which will add $14 million to the budget, and the $3 million phase one of the convention center expansion.

“There may be other expenditures that are shifted to the city budget from CCDC that we have to figure out what to do with,” he said. “Some of these are projects that can be halted some that we cannot.”

Like Proposition B, pension reform is tied up in litigation. The city must assume it’s law and start to implement it.

“Their projections change and they’re looking at a $27 million hit,” he said.

The mayor has already promised millions from a liability reserve fund to invest in public safety, including police and fire, but they may be significantly cut.

“We have to get a new communications system for the police,” he said. “The faster we get started the safer we are. So I’m still committed to that.”