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Mayor Announces More Library Hours, Police Officers In Budget Revise

Continued revenue growth will allow the city of San Diego to further increase operating hours at libraries and fund most City Council priorities in the upcoming fiscal year, Mayor Jerry Sanders said today.

In announcing his "May revise'' to the city's $2.7 billion spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1, Sanders said the proposed $1.1 billion general fund will be $12.2 million higher than originally forecast.

San Diego Chief Operating Officer Jay Goldstone helps present the mayor's May revise to the city budget.
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Above: San Diego Chief Operating Officer Jay Goldstone helps present the mayor's May revise to the city budget.

As a result, libraries will be open eight hours more per week than this year, instead of five hours more; the Central Library will re-open on Saturdays, the number of police cadets at four academies will total 30 instead of 25, and a second fire academy will be added, the mayor said.

The fire academies will be the first in three years.

Among the City Council priorities met in the revised document:

-- more money was set aside for road repairs;

-- funding for the Commission on Arts and Culture, which provides funding for local arts programs, will be raised 5 percent;

-- the Neil Good Day Center, which gives the homeless a place to shower and make phone calls, will be funded; and

-- a graffiti abatement program was restored.

The mayor, who is departing in December following two terms in office, said it "feels great'' to begin restoring services after so many years of cutbacks.

"This is what I ran for ... to help fix the city's financial picture,'' Sanders said. "I feel really good to be standing up here telling you about all of it, but a lot of people in San Diego deserve the credit for this.''

He pointed out members of the City Council, Chief Operating Officer Jay Goldstone, city employees who have endured a 6 percent salary decrease and changes to their benefits, and residents to receive credit for fixing the city's budget.

Mayor Jerry Sanders presents the "May revise" to the city budget.
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Above: Mayor Jerry Sanders presents the "May revise" to the city budget.

The mayor's staff positioned behind him a poster board with five bullet points, all of which began with the word "more.''

"We are in a good place, one that is not enjoyed by too many other big cities in this nation,'' said Councilman Todd Gloria, who chairs the panel's Budget Committee.

Councilwoman Lorie Zapf said the fact that restorations are being driven by increased revenues shows that council actions to strengthen the local economy and reduce regulations are paying off.

The mayor is scheduled to formally introduce the revisions at a special City Council meeting on Friday. Gloria said he hopes to take a final vote on adoption of the spending plan on June 11.

Comments

Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | May 24, 2012 at 10:13 a.m. ― 2 years, 7 months ago

Why don't they use that money to get our streets up to first-world standards instead of having some of the worst streets in the entire nation? Sometimes I feel like I am driving through a post-apocalyptic wasteland with bomb craters all over the place.

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Avatar for user 'HarryStreet'

HarryStreet | May 25, 2012 at 9:29 a.m. ― 2 years, 7 months ago

Stop spiking retirement hours in police force, eliminate pensions and switch to 401k, switch to salary vs hourly cops to prevent overtime misuse.

The money saved could be put to better use all over.

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Avatar for user 'JuliusZsako'

JuliusZsako | May 27, 2012 at 10:09 p.m. ― 2 years, 6 months ago

Restoration of the full graffiti abatement program is an important development. Congratulations! Graffiti vandalism is a crime of growing importance and we need to do more to stop and prevent such vandalism. The enormous clean-up and repair bill of graffiti crime is placing pressures on local government budgets. The graffiti vandalism also has a devaluing effect on neighborhoods. One study noted at www.DefacingAmerica.com showed a fifteen percent decline in property values in neighborhoods where graffiti was common. Although prompt removal and effective enforcement are important steps in reducing graffiti vandalism, they are by no means the most important. When we instill attitudes among youth that respect public and private property, only then will we reduce graffiti crime. The tagger graffiti is a worldwide epidemic, and it is the same in Budapest, Hungary as it is in London, England or Denver, Colorado.

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