Skip to main content

Breaking News: WATCH LIVE: Biden, Harris Arrive At Capitol For Inauguration (Posted 01/20/21 at 7:56 a.m.)

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Transfer Of Power | Racial Justice

San Diego’s $3.2 Billion Budget Approved By City Council

Special Feature Play the Budget Game

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

The City Council unanimously adopted a $3.2 billion budget Monday for the fiscal year that starts July 1, while adding funding for arts and culture programs and Saturday hours at libraries.

The budget proposal issued by Mayor Kevin Faulconer almost two months ago already boosted the operating hours at the city's 16 busiest recreation centers from 45 to 60. A subsequent amendment increased the number of affected centers to 36, thanks to improving revenue projections.

The mayor proposed $11.1 million in arts and culture funding, but last week Councilman David Alvarez called for an additional $1 million to get the city closer to meeting a funding formula the council agreed to three years ago.

The funding will now be $12.1 million — still short of the $16.7 million amount called for in the "Penny for the Arts" blueprint.

"I think it's really important that we keep that commitment," Alvarez said.

For libraries, 23 branches will receive funding needed to operate longer on Saturdays.

Council President Sherri Lightner said the budget "responsibly restores public safety and neighborhood services, and funds additional infrastructure while fully funding reserves."

When Faulconer issued his so-called "May Revise" last month, he called for the establishment of a $15 million reserve fund to stabilize the way the city contributes to its employee retirement fund.

Sometimes, depending in part on the performance of the investment portfolio held by the San Diego City Employees Retirement System, the city has to contribute far more to the pension fund than it did the year before. The mayor said his plan was to smooth out those spikes.

The council members didn't adopt his plan, but agreed to hold the money as excess equity until they can establish a pension reserve policy. Councilman Todd Gloria promised to have the proposal on the agenda of the Budget Committee, which he chairs, later this month.

The council also included in the budget $625,000 to design and conduct an environmental analysis on a proposed project to install sidewalks on a stretch of Market Street in Valencia that doesn't have any, even though it's close to a city library. The project, which will have a total cost of $4 million to complete, is a top priority for Councilwoman Myrtle Cole.

Another $453,000 will be spent to hire seven mechanics for the city's vehicle fleet.

FEATURED PODCAST

San Diego News Now podcast branding

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Curious San Diego banner

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.