Locals react to Sanders’ budget plan
Community leaders are weighing in on Mayor Jerry Sanders’ 18-month proposal to deal with the projected $179 million budget deficit for fiscal year 2011 by making reductions in virtually every city department and having them take effect on Jan. 1.
The spending plan, which maintains the jobs of all sworn police and fire personnel and avoids closures of libraries and recreation centers, calls for a full pension payment and leaves reserves untouched. The mayor wants the changes enacted six months earlier than the normal start of the fiscal year.
“This recession has had a deep impact on virtually every city in the country, and San Diego is no exception,” Sanders said. “While far from painless, this plan balances the budget without decimating city services or jeopardizing our good standing on Wall Street.”
Sanders’ plan incorporates $82.6 million in ongoing structural reductions, largely through cutting 530 positions — 200 of which are currently filled.
First District Councilwoman Sherri Lightner confirmed that there will be cuts to public services, including some in her district which includes Carmel Valley, Rancho Penasquitos and most of La Jolla.
“There will be effects for rec centers and libraries,” she said. “We may have brownouts with fire stations, though we don’t know which stations will be affected.”
Lightner noted the mayor’s proposal at this stage is exactly that, and things may change with budget deliberations.
“They (public) may have suggestions on how to minimize the costs to specific communities, and may provide us with more opportunities to volunteer as well,” she said.
In Sanders’ proposal, 16 city libraries will be “paired,” sharing staff and reducing hours to 36 a week.
Carmel Valley Library will be paired with the Scripps Miramar Ranch Library and will be open only Tuesday through Saturday. The library will be closed on Mondays and Sundays, impacting children’s services and programs, community outreach and meeting room scheduling.
Gavin McBride, speaking on behalf of the San Diego Association for Lifeguards, said the group’s goal was no reduction in service.
“The mayor’s proposal calls for elimination of permanent staff at Black’s (Beach) in the wintertime,” he said.
“We’re hoping to give the mayor’s office and the City Council some suggestions for revenue generation which hopefully will bring that crew up there back.”
Councilman Kevin Faulconer, whose district includes part of Mount Soledad and Bird Rock — said the mayor’s proposal includes “numerous structural changes and a leaner, more efficient work force with minimal impacts to core city services.”
He added that it “is a way to deliver outstanding city services without lessening the fiscal reforms we’ve worked so hard to put in place.”
- Sanders predicts $179M budget deficit next year
- Sanders: Budget cuts will come in January
- Sanders proposes early cuts to close budget gap
- S.D. City council hears mayor’s budget cut plan
- Mayor proposes pay cuts, higher fees
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