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Painful Cuts Proposed for San Diego

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San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders says he’s proposing to close seven branch libraries and nine recreation centers. And those are just some of the cuts he says are necessary to close a $43 million mid yea

Painful Cuts Proposed for San Diego

(Photo: Mayor Sanders, his financial team, and his police and fire chiefs announce proposed cuts to police, fire, parks and libraries. Alison St John/KPBS )

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders says he’s proposing to close seven branch libraries and nine recreation centers. And those are just some of the cuts he says are necessary to close a $43 million mid year budget gap. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

Sanders and his financial team have come up with cuts to reduce city spending by $50 million a year. He says over the past 2 weeks, city employees have  suggested over 200 ways to cut spending. But the plain fact is -  city services will be reduced.

Sanders : We’re cutting things that have never been cut before, quite frankly and we’re looking at cutting more things that have never been cut before. But one of the things to note is we’re not using smoke and mirrors on this.

Under the mayor’s plan, libraries, parks, a gym and a swim program would close.

Police and fire training academies would be cut. Police on desk jobs would have to move out to street duty, the fire department would lose two engine companies.

The mayor says he’s cut his own office by 8 percent.

City council will tackle the plan in ten days, before the new council takes office next month.

Alison St John, KPBS news