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City Council Approves Budget 7-1, With DeMaio Voting No

A $2.7 billion spending plan for San Diego municipal government for the fiscal year beginning July 1 was adopted by the City Council today on a 7-1 vote.

The budget's $1.15 billion general fund increases library and recreation center hours, adds police and fire academies, and funding for arts and culture programs.

The additions were made possible when financial staff estimated the present fiscal year would end with a surplus of around $17.8 million. Last week, branch libraries opened on Mondays for the first time in five years.

"Our city has done something very remarkable. We came together to fix problems that were decades in the making,'' said Councilwoman Sherri Lightener.

However, a 6 percent salary cut imposed on employees several years ago still remains in effect.

"Despite having restored some critical services our citizens demand and expect, I don't want to lose sight of the fact that this was not possible without the sacrifices of our city employees,'' said Councilman Todd Gloria.

Councilman Carl DeMaio acknowledged the progress that's been made, including the restoration of library and parks and recreation center hours a bonus program for city lifeguards and the restoration of graffiti removal positions.

However, DeMaio cast the dissenting vote, stating he "will not support a budget that is not truly balanced, a budget that intentionally runs an infrastructure deficit and a budget that fails to provide the types of services neighborhoods need, particularly public safety programs and after school programs.''

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