Street Repair and Infrastructure
The City must invest more in fixing our streets and other vital infrastructure needs. Through years of neglect, the City of San Diego developed $898 million backlog of infrastructure repairs. For years, City government ignored this problem and underinvested in street repair other City facilities. Kevin is focused on taking action to repair more City streets and infrastructure.
Funding for Street Repair-120 Miles of New City Streets
Kevin has made street and infrastructure repair a top priority. In 2012, Kevin voted for an unprecedented five year infrastructure plan to direct millions of dollars in funding for street and infrastructure repair. As a result, $85 million has been allocated for street repair that repaved 120 miles of City streets. Mayor Bob Filner delayed implementing this plan and millions of dollars in infrastructure funding in his first budget-making it even more difficult to catch up and fix the City's network of streets and facilities. Now, more than ever, the City must continue to make infrastructure a top priority and do even more to address the City's infrastructure needs.
Getting Projects Done Quicker
Kevin has worked to cut substantially the time it takes to complete projects by approving measures for streamlining and increasing transparency of the Capital Improvement Program.
In 2011, Kevin over saw an audit of the City's Capital Improvement Program. This audit uncovered that of streets, facilities, and other City assets, no single department was clearly in charge. This lack of organization led to competing priorities, and accountability issues. After this audit, Kevin worked closely with Mayor Sanders to improve coordination between departments, more effectively manage street repairs, and worked on legislation that would dramatically cut the time it took to complete projects. Approved by the City Council in 2012, this initiative reduced the regulatory hurdles and created innovative procurement strategies to reduce total project time.
Giving Communities a Voice
The City cannot build a successful multi-year infrastructure plan without working directly with San Diegans. In June 2013, the City Council voted to formalize a process that would allow for community input during the process in which projects are approved. In its first year, the City received feedback on needs and priorities from 42 city-recognized community planning groups. This is an important first step, but more must be done to improve and build upon this new process to ensure community input is adequately captured and utilized appropriately to maximize the public's contribution.
More Funding for Street Repair and Safe Sidewalks
Kevin supported and helped pass an unprecedented five year deferred capital maintenance investment plan, but the City needs to do even more to prevent the City's infrastructure from continuing to deteriorate. According to the Independent Budget Analyst, without additional investment, the City will see a 5-10% deterioration of the City's capital assets over 5 years. Additionally, the City has failed to invest in its network of sidewalks. Kevin is committed to identifying sidewalk needs through a citywide critical needs assessment and addressing the City's immense backlog of deteriorating and cracking sidewalks.
Adequately Planning to Maintain the City's Assets
The City does not currently know the condition of all of its existing infrastructure and is lacking a comprehensive plan to managed citywide capital assets. While the $898 million estimated backlog accounts for streets, facilities, and storm drains it does not include sidewalks, piers, seawalls, park and recreation structures, storm drain channels, bridges, water and wastewater assets, the convention center, and various accessibility improvements. Additionally, many critical condition assessments are outdated or incomplete. The actual deferred backlog is most likely much greater than $898 million. Kevin believes that the City should have accurate, up-to-date condition assessments for the most effective asset management.
Once the City has completed the critical needs assessments necessary to accurately understand infrastructure needs across the City, it is imperative to finalize an effective asset management plan to make certain the City is appropriately maintaining its infrastructure. In the past, City officials chose to postpone infrastructure maintenance because of budgetary constraints. Now it is clear how costly these irresponsible policies were.
Kevin is dedicated to creating an effective asset management system to ensure the City's infrastructure network is properly maintained.
Creation of a Multi-Year Capital Improvement Program
To properly maintain our streets and infrastructure it is important for the City to implement strategic, long term plans. To achieve this goal, Kevin supports creating a multi-year capital improvement program. In the past, City officials did not adequately plan to maintain City streets and facilities, and in some years, City officials would forgo annual maintenance costs in an effort to save funds. This lack of planning actually cost the City more. The City Auditor found that spending $1 on pavement preservation when a street is in fair condition eliminates spending $6-$14 on rehabilitation or reconstruction of a street in poor condition. Given this knowledge, we must address the deferred capital backlog now to avoid increased repair costs in the future.
Currently, the City approves the Capital Improvement Program annually during the budget creation process. A multi-year infrastructure budget would allow the City to more effectively plan for the future, maintain City streets and facilities, and most effectively spend taxpayer funds.