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Mayor Faulconer Proposes Largest Infrastructure Investment in City History, Keeps Focus on Neighborhoods, Quality of Life & Public Safety

Mayor’s FY2019 Budget Proposal Prioritizes Core Neighborhood Services, Street Repair, Homeless Programs & ‘Clean SD’ Initiative

Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Proposal Press Conference

Thursday, April 12, 2018 - NEWS RELEASE

San Diego – Continuing his focus on reinvesting in San Diego neighborhoods, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer today introduced the City of San Diego’s Fiscal Year 2019 Proposed Budget that funds the largest infrastructure investment in City history while prioritizing funding for public safety, the “Clean SD” initiative, homelessness, street repair, recreation centers and libraries.

Mayor Faulconer’s budget proposal continues a fiscally responsible approach given modest revenue growth and the need to ensure the City lives within its means. The balanced budget was made possible in large part by the prudent financial decisions, including pre-funding reserves, in last year’s budget and the Mayor’s directive this year for department directors to hold the line on spending.

“We’re continuing to put neighborhoods first by maintaining the key services we’ve restored in recent years and making the largest infrastructure investment in San Diego history,” Mayor Faulconer said. “This balanced budget will keep our foot on the pedal when it comes to fixing more roads, helping people into stable housing, keeping libraries and rec centers open for children, creating more housing affordability for working families, and putting more police officers on the street to protect our communities.”

The City has been forced to grapple with a lean budget over the past couple years. Still, Mayor Faulconer’s proposed budget prioritizes issues important to San Diegans. Those include funding for the largest recruitment and retention package in San Diego Police Department history, the equivalent of 390 miles of street repair, the highest level of operating hours at libraries and recreation centers in a decade, and key initiatives such as the Climate Action Plan, Pure Water San Diego, Vision Zero safety measures, Clean SD, and several homeless programs.

The annual budget for the Capital Improvements Program, which funds most infrastructure projects throughout the city, has also seen significant growth since Mayor Faulconer took office. It has more than tripled since FY2014 and now stands at $553 million.

The City is projecting modestly improving revenue from property (5.5%), sales (3%) and hotel taxes (5.3%) in FY2019.

Mayor Faulconer has proposed balancing the budget with about $14.1 million in reductions spread across various City departments, rolling over $12.3 million in projected surplus from the current fiscal year budget, and the use of $5.6 million in excess funds available in select reserve accounts, among other things.

The structurally balanced budget follows responsible financial practices by ensuring that ongoing expenses are funded with ongoing revenues and that one-time expenses are paid for with one-time revenues. The proposal includes:

  • Most funding for the Capital Improvements Program in City history – $553 million
  • $76 million in funding to fix the equivalent of 390 miles of streets
  • $153 million for projects and programs related to the Climate Action Plan
    • Includes $121 million to move forward with Pure Water recycling program
  • $7.9 million for homeless services and programs, including three Bridge Shelters, the year-round interim housing program at Father Joe’s, Safe Parking Program and the new Housing Navigation Center
  • $28.3 million for largest recruitment and retention package in SDPD history
  • Continues with four academies of police recruits for $8.4 million
  • Creating SDPD’s new Neighborhood Policing Division for $666,000
  • An expanded firefighter academy to maintain full staffing levels for $242,000
  • An additional $4.4 million to expand the “Clean SD” initiative to cleanup neighborhoods and the San Diego River
  • Creation of a new Sustainability Department to oversee implementation of the Climate Action Plan
  • $18 million for projects to support Vision Zero safety goals, including bike facilities, sidewalks, traffic signals, crosswalks and traffic calming measures
  • Maintaining recreation center and library hours at the highest level in a decade
  • $1.5 million to staff two new libraries (Mission Hills/Hillcrest and San Ysidro) and 10 new facilities/open space in the Parks and Recreation Department
  • Fully funding reserves to policy targets and making $323 million annual pension payment
  • Begins to replenish the Pension Stabilization Reserve with a contribution of $3.5 million
  • Maintaining arts and culture funding at FY2018 levels minus 2 percent consistent with citywide reductions – $14.5 million

The $3.8 billion budget proposal recommends spending levels for City operations and capital projects for Fiscal Year 2019, which runs from July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019.

For more information, the entire proposed budget can be viewed online here along with a Fact Sheet that provides a summary of notable changes and a set of budget infographics.

The final budget will be adopted in June following several weeks of review by the public and the City Council. The budget proposal will be formally presented to the City Council at 2 p.m. Monday in the City Council chambers.

Here’s what others are saying about the Mayor’s Fiscal Year 2019 Proposed Budget:

City Council President Myrtle Cole: “I am pleased that the Mayor’s budget proposal continues to advocate for public safety, neighborhood services, infrastructure, job creation/economic development, and homelessness. I look forward to working together to approve a City budget that responds to the needs of all of our communities.”

City Councilmember Barbara Bry, Chair of the Budget & Government Efficiency Committee: “The Mayor is proposing zero impacts to core services and Fiscal Year 2019 looks strong. Today is the beginning of the budget process and as Budget Committee Chair, I am excited to encourage San Diegans to actively participate in this process. It is critical to have your voice included. Public testimony is welcome and encouraged at any and all of the hearings from May 2 to May 9, as well as at an evening meeting of the full City Council on May 14.”

Councilmember Chris Ward: “I have been strongly advocating for a budget that maintains investment in neighborhood services, increases our investment in homeless programs, and moves forward long awaited community projects, and I'm encouraged to see this budget proposal reflect those needs. I look forward to working closely with community members and my council colleagues to thoroughly review the proposed budget to ensure it meets the immediate needs of our neighborhoods and puts the city on a strong fiscal footing for the years to come.”

Councilmember Lorie Zapf: “I commend Mayor Faulconer for prioritizing important neighborhoods services like our libraries and neighborhood recreation centers. San Diegans, especially our youth, rely on continued opportunities that provide safe places to learn and grow.”

Joyce Gattas, Dean of San Diego State University’s College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts: “On behalf of the arts community, I want to thank Mayor Faulconer for his support of arts and culture in this year’s budget given the many difficult financial decisions he had to make. The arts and cultural organizations that receive City funding work hard to educate, entertain and inspire San Diegans every day and this is a recognition of their value and importance to our community. This budget ensures San Diego will continue to be a premier arts and culture destination for residents and visitors alike.”

CONTACT: Craig Gustafson at (619) 453-9880 or [email protected]

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