City web page gives details on mayor’s budget plan

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SAN DIEGO — The city of San Diego Wednesday rolled out a web page where the public can get information about Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

The dynamic tool at Budget.SanDiego.gov allows users to gather information about the 2015-16 spending plan by clicking on pie charts or viewing tables.

The page also has frequently asked questions, a search function and notes that provide further information on a specific item. Visitors to the web page will be able to ask questions, submit ideas and provide feedback on ways to improve the tool.

“We think showing the public our budget information online engages them in a way like never before,” said Almis Udrys, the city’s director of performance and analytics. “We also believe in transparency and providing an unprecedented amount of information to the public.”

He said the online presentation also provides city officials a new way of visualizing the data that they can’t get from their budget book. Some of the pie charts allow users to click down four or five layers to get more detailed spending information, he said.

The page currently only offers data on the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The numbers will be updated when a spending plan is adopted by the City Council.

Udrys said information from previous fiscal years will be added later.

He said he believes the new web page, built by OpenGov.com of Redwood City, provides the public more budget information than any other city in the region.

Matt Awbrey, a spokesman for Faulconer, said the page is part of an effort to redesign the city’s overall website to make it easier for the public to use and retrieve data, and be more mobile device-friendly. The mayor’s website is an example of the redesign, which is expected to be fully implemented next year.

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