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San Diegans: What Would You Change In Your City’s Budget?

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer will release his nearly $3 billion budget proposal next week to outline how the city will spend its money in the next fiscal year.

Special Feature Play the Budget Game

What would you change about the city budget? Click here to play.

Last year, improving economic conditions gave Faulconer an extra $35 million in revenue to spend on sidewalks and streetlights, increase library hours and and hire an open data officer.

Despite that increased spending, the city didn't exceed its financial limits. Instead, a report in February said the city took in more money than it spent and would post a $5 million surplus in the current fiscal year, which ends June 30.

In advance of Faulconer's budget proposal, KPBS asked people from across the city where they want to see the city spend more and less money. Maybe not surprisingly, everyone asked had ideas for where the city should increase spending and no one had suggestions for where the city should cut back.

Louis Lopez, North Park

Photo caption:

"I’d like more streetlights. There’s not a lot, especially on the street where I live. My girlfriend’s walking at night, walking the dog, and it would just make me feel better if there were a few more streetlights on our street and the surrounding area."

— Louis Lopez

Stephen Lee, La Jolla

Photo caption:

"I think one of the best things about San Diego is obviously outdoor life and so I would love to see San Diego spend more money on public spaces, parks.

"I feel like there are a lot of areas of the city that need to be cleaned up, like the trash picked up more regularly, especially the public trash cans, a lot of times you see trash cans overflowing and I think that would beautify the whole city.

"And more resources in public spaces, I think the outdoors is one of the biggest benefits of living in San Diego."

— Stephen Lee

Monique Lopez, South Park

Photo caption:

"What I’d like to see more in this upcoming budget is biking and walking infrastructure projects. Specifically in communities such as City Heights, where I’m at right now. Logan Heights, Sherman Heights, Barrio Logan, and all these great communities that are overburdened from air pollution, and are at highest risk of being hit by a car.

"If you live in one of these communities, you’re 10 times more likely to be hit by a car, just walking around. So we need to see infrastructure such as biking and walking in these communities first."

— Monique Lopez

Andrew Bruner, Hillcrest

Photo caption:

"Our beaches and keeping the Chargers in San Diego. Build the stadium, keep them here. We’ll never share a stadium with the LA Raiders or the Oakland Raiders.

"The Chargers are supposed to be in San Diego, and that’s all I’ve got to say about that."

— Andrew Bruner

Fekadu Dabi, City Heights

Photo caption:

"I wish the city spent more money on the improvement of the parks, schools and health care.

"Also, I need the city to spend more money on the improvement of roads and also the security of parks."

— Fekadu Dabi

After Faulconer's budget proposal is released, the Independent Budget Analyst will review it and then the City Council will hold hearings on each department's budget. The City Council will also hold public hearings to get San Diegans' input on the city's spending plan.

Faulconer will then issue a revised budget, which will go to the City Council for a vote. A final budget must be adopted by mid-June so it can go into effect on July 1.


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Photo of Claire Trageser

Claire Trageser
Investigative Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksAs a member of the KPBS investigative team, my job is to hold the powerful in San Diego County accountable. I've done in-depth investigations on political campaigns, police officer misconduct and neighborhood quality of life issues.

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