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SD City Council to Consider Budget

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Aired 6/8/09

The San Diego City Council is set to vote on the 2010 fiscal year budget today. Officials agree the process hasn’t been contentious, but that doesn’t mean the situation is good.

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Above: Reporter Katie Orr talks with San Diego Week host Gloria Penner about San Diego's projected budget shortfall and how the City Council managed to keep most municipal services intact.

— The San Diego City Council is set to vote on the 2010 fiscal year budget today. Officials agree the process hasn’t been contentious, but that doesn’t mean the situation is good.

The City of San Diego is looking to cover an $84 million deficit. Mayor Jerry Sanders wants to fill the gap with labor concessions, department cutbacks, increased fees and the use of some city reserves. Independent Budget Analyst Andrea Tevlin made only minor recommendations for changes to the budget, which the Mayor’s office says it will accept. Tevlin says the process has gone smoothly because the Mayor and the Council dealt with potential cuts to city services last December.

“We did not have any service reductions or any debate about service reductions this time around. The other thing is, there were no program expansions that we would have recommended, and he did not either,” she says.

Tevlin says the outlook for the 2011 fiscal year is not good. Jay Goldstone, the city’s chief operating officer agrees with Tevlin, that keeping service cuts off the table made this year’s process run more smoothly. But he says the city’s financial situation will change if the State takes money from local governments to fill the deficit in Sacramento.

“It will require us to reopen the budget and make further modifications. And it will all hinge on to what degree does the state hit our budget,” he says.

Goldstone says he expects the council to pass the budget with the independent budget analyst’s recommendations and expects the mayor will sign it.

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