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San Diego City Council To Weigh In On Mayor's Budget

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer delivers his State of the City address, Jan. 12, 2017.
Kris Arciaga
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer delivers his State of the City address, Jan. 12, 2017.

Members of the San Diego City Council Monday will get their first chance to weigh in on Mayor Kevin Faulconer's proposed $3.6 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

When he released the plan publicly last week, the mayor said his plan prioritizes core community services in the $1.4 billion general fund like street repairs, recreation centers, libraries and public safety. The proposal also includes the largest infrastructure expenditure of this decade at $445 million, he said.

The spending plan funds 349 miles of street repairs, and maintains library and recreation center hours, the mayor said. He will formally present the proposal to the City Council at an afternoon meeting.


Preparing a balanced budget was made more difficult than usual by a much higher contribution to the San Diego City Employees Retirement System than was initially forecast. The change was the result of decisions made by the SDCERS board in light of retirees living longer and a mediocre investment performance.

The current fiscal year's contribution from the general fund to the retirement system was $191 million, but the bill will rise to $236 million, overwhelming anticipated revenue gains, according to the mayor's office. The total bill will be higher because departments that are not included in the general fund also pay into SDCERS.

The result was that city financial management officials found themselves in January facing a $47 million gap between projected revenues and expenses for the upcoming fiscal year.

The shortfall was closed by $22 million of reductions in planned spending, taking $16 million out of a recently established reserve account and applying around $8 million in funds that are expected to be left over when the current fiscal year ends on June 30.

The council members are scheduled to begin budget hearings on May 3 and adopt the plan in June.