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Mayor’s Budget Revision Bolsters Funding for Parks, Housing, Public Safety & Mobility Upgrades

In Separate Action, Faulconer Directs Over $9M Set Aside for Plaza de Panama Project to Other Infrastructure Priorities Within Balboa Park

Balboa Park FY2020 May Revise Press Conference

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 - NEWS RELEASE

San Diego – Today Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer announced more funding for parks, mobility upgrades, scooter enforcement, brush management and housing incentives as part of more than $6.7 million in additions to the Fiscal Year 2020 General Fund Proposed Budget.

In a separate budgetary action, Mayor Faulconer also directed the $9.3 million that had previously been allocated to the Plaza de Panama project to a regional parks fund to ensure that those dollars go to other infrastructure priorities in Balboa Park.

“We’re making strategic additions that focus on improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods, from planting more trees to removing graffiti to bolstering public safety,” Mayor Faulconer said. “We’re also going to make sure that dollars set aside years ago for Balboa Park will stay in the park and go toward the many worthy projects there.”

Mayor Faulconer’s budget revisions are additions to the Proposed Fiscal Year 2020 Budget – a balanced plan that prioritizes core community services such as street repair, homelessness and public safety while making the largest infrastructure investment in city history for the second year in a row.

Standing next to the Bea Evenson Fountain in Balboa Park, Mayor Faulconer was joined by City Councilmember Chris Cate, homeless providers and mobility advocates to share revisions that call for using $4.9 million in General Fund surplus – budgetary savings from the current fiscal year due to citywide belt-tightening – to fund quality-of-life programs important to San Diegans.

The additions include more than $2.4 million for dockless scooter enforcement and mobility infrastructure projects, including the El Cajon bus lane pilot project; $3.2 million for brush management, graffiti abatement, tree planting and three full-time park rangers; an additional $300,000 to double fee waivers for granny flats; and funding for pay equity and disparity studies.

Also receiving $250,000 is a new pilot program initiated by Councilmember Cate will provide housing incentives to help police officers buy homes in the City of San Diego.

“Less than 30 percent of police officers live within City limits. Housing incentives, such as homebuyer down-payment assistance programs, can serve to help officers buy homes within the City of San Diego and provide an additional incentive to assist in the recruitment and retention of police officers,” Councilmember Cate said. “Over the past year, I have worked to better understand police officers’ housing needs and to create a partnership with nonprofits and financial institutions that establishes a framework for this program. I am pleased to see $250,000 allocated for my Police Officer Homebuyer Down-Payment Assistance Program included in the May Revise.”

As part of the budget process, Mayor Faulconer is also calling for the transfer of $9.3 million previously dedicated for the Plaza de Panama project to the Regional Park Improvement Annual Allocation to address deferred maintenance needs in Balboa Park. These funds will be used for priority capital project improvements, including bathroom upgrades, roof repair and other needs consistent with a park and facility condition assessment.

The budget additions are based on increased revenue projections and additional personnel savings in department budgets that have arisen in the current fiscal’s year budget. Funds are available due to property tax projections coming in slightly higher than anticipated and surplus remaining from the current fiscal year’s budget.

In total, Mayor Faulconer recommends $6.7 million in General Fund additions. Highlights include:

  • Brush management, $1.88 million
  • Mobility infrastructure and Vision Zero initiatives, $1 million
  • Mobility Program Coordinator and Get It Done app expansion, $662,000
  • Three additional positions to support homelessness programs, $420,100
  • Graffiti abatement, $300,000
  • Companion unit fee waiver, $300,000 ($600,000 total in budget)
  • Mobility Action Plan enforcement and education, $250,000
  • Street corral painting and the El Cajon bus lane pilot project, $250,000
  • Police recruitment housing pilot program, $250,000
  • Compensation equity study, $250,000
  • Assistant City Attorney for the Administrative Division, $231,000
  • Three park rangers for open space and regional parks, $205,000
  • Diversity disparity study, $200,000
  • Clean SD expansion, $200,000
  • Diversity training, $150,000
  • Public Records Act program support, $150,000
  • LGBTQ coordinator position, $117,000
  • Vision Zero education, $100,000
  • Dockless mobility enforcement program, $150,000
  • Planting 700 trees, $78,000
  • Program Manager for the Ethics Commission, $76,000

“Mayor Faulconer is committed to increasing funding for safe streets in this updated budget,” said Maya Rosas, Director of Policy for Circulate San Diego. “His use of expected revenue from scooter permitting is a creative win-win approach toward reaching Vision Zero in our city.”

The recommendations are contained in two reports released today: the May Revision to Fiscal Year 2020 Proposed Budget and the Fiscal Year 2019 Year-End Budget Monitoring Report.

CONTACT: Christina Chadwick at (619) 865-3622 or chadwickc@sandiego.gov