Wednesday, April 13, 2015 - NEWS RELEASE
San Diego – Amongst city staff, residents and families gathered at the Skyline Hills Community Park in southeastern San Diego, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer today released his second "One San Diego" City budget proposal, outlining a plan to direct more money toward streets, parks, neighborhood services and public safety.
"This budget is 'One San Diego' back at work," Mayor Faulconer said. "It funds services that give more San Diegans in more communities the opportunity to succeed. San Diegans will see more street repairs, better parks and more equality to neighborhood services, so your community is thriving no matter where you live."
The City of San Diego Fiscal Year 2016 proposed budget is a fiscally responsible plan that follows through on the Mayor’s pledge to make streets the City's top infrastructure priority. The proposal includes:
- Fixing more than 300 miles of streets – double the amount repaired annually when Faulconer first took office
- Increased funding for sidewalk and streetlight improvements
- Additional operating hours for large recreation centers
- Park and playground improvements in every City Council district
- Additional code compliance officers to target slumlords
- Expansions to existing afterschool and youth jobs programs
- An additional Fast Response Squad to improve emergency response times
- Enhancements to government transparency and open data initiatives
- Tripling Internet speed at branch libraries
- More code enforcement officers to shut down illegal medical marijuana dispensaries
- Expanding Friday teen programs during the summer to provide fun and safe activities for youth
Mayor Faulconer's budget plan also continues his commitment to spend at least half of all new major revenue growth - from property, sales and transient occupancy taxes as well as franchise fees - on fixing San Diego neighborhoods. That will lead to an additional $41 million for infrastructure and neighborhood repair efforts in Fiscal Year 2016 on top of what the City had already been spending each year.
"It's a balanced, fiscally responsible budget that builds upon my commitment to fiscal reform," Mayor Faulconer said. "When I ran for mayor, I promised to dedicate half of all major revenue growth to efforts to repair our aging infrastructure and neighborhoods. That’s exactly what I did last year and I'm doing it again this year."
In addition, the budget plan calls for $2 million to support homeless services; more staff to work on community plan updates; four police recruit academies; three firefighter academies; and $5.6 million to upgrade the Police Department's antiquated dispatch system.
The $3.2 billion budget proposal recommends spending levels for City operations for Fiscal Year 2016, which runs from July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016. The final budget will be adopted in June following several weeks of review by the public and City Council. Faulconer will formally present the budget to the City Council at 2 p.m. Tuesday in the City Council chambers.
Here's what City Councilmembers are saying about Mayor Faulconer's proposed budget:
City Council President Sherri Lightner: "After years of sacrifices on the part of our residents, communities and city staff, it's encouraging to see a budget that continues to provide essential services such as public safety and infrastructure, and restores recreation programs, parks, libraries and other city programs and facilities."
Councilmember Todd Gloria, Chair of the Council's Budget Committee: "In my fifth year leading the Budget Committee, I'm very happy to be talking about adding back more services for San Diegans instead of what we're going to cut to make ends meet."
Councilmember Chris Cate: "I share in Mayor Faulconer's vision for safer and revitalized neighborhoods. I am proud of the positive position San Diego's economy is in and welcome the opportunity to invest in our core neighborhood services. I look forward to working with my council colleagues and Mayor Faulconer to address the police recruitment and retention crisis, strengthen San Diego's economy and increase the level of city services."
Councilmember Myrtle Cole: "I appreciate the Mayor's support of my priorities. We have a lot of work to do to ensure that our neighborhoods are safe and livable. Every community deserves to have the basic necessities to help the residents thrive – and not merely survive."
CONTACT: Craig Gustafson at (619) 453-9880 or [email protected]