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Social Services Spared In San Diego Budget


If your plans for the summer included checking out a book and heading to a city pool or park, you’re in luck.

— Popular San Diego city services were spared in the budget passed on Monday. The council voted to maintain library, recreation and city pool hours.

The vote was not much of a surprise. Several councilmembers have been saying for months they wouldn’t support a budget that gutted city libraries.

Increased tax revenues and higher than expected city reserves helped fund the services. Councilwoman Sherri Lightener said the council deserved credit for its work.

“Despite a huge deficit, we have succeeded, by and large, in achieving our goal of protecting neighborhood services,” she said.

The council also voted to end the practice of idling some fire engines, which San Diego began doing a year ago to save money. All eight of the affected engines will be put back into service on July 1.

The council majority said the services can be paid for without adding to the 2013 deficit, projected to be about $41 million.

But Councilman Carl DeMaio said he couldn’t support the budget because it doesn’t solve San Diego’s problem of consistently spending more than it takes in.

“If we have the ability to do something, why not do it?” he asked. “Why not actually fix the structural budget deficit rather than prolonging the issue?”

And it wasn’t all good news. The budget eliminates about 120 city positions, though not all are filled. Mayor Jerry Sanders has indicated he will sign the budget.

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