By Todd Gloria, Interim Mayor, City of San Diego
As we begin 2014 with resolutions, renewal, and hope for great things in the months ahead, I am happy to report the City’s forecast looks bright.
Late last year, I released the City’s Five-Year Financial Outlook. The financial forecast for Fiscal Years 2015 through 2019 includes critical information as the City Council and members of the public begin to formulate priorities for the FY 2015 budget, which will be considered in Spring 2014.
The Outlook projects a one year baseline budget deficit of approximately $19 million for FY 15, followed by surpluses through FY 19. I fully expect we will be able to overcome the projected FY 15 deficit without sacrificing needed services, thanks in part to higher than anticipated property tax revenues. With smart decision making, the City of San Diego will have a balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2015. This is good news.
That being said, as Interim Mayor and Council President, my primary focus in 2014 will be on our City’s infrastructure. The City currently has a backlog of deferred capital projects with a price tag of at least $898 million. These capital projects include sidewalks, streets, streetlights, fire stations, storm drains, parks, and libraries. This month, my Council colleagues and I will be voting on a $120 million infrastructure bond that includes over $43 million earmarked for street resurfacing. The passage of this proposed bond at Council would be a step in the right direction. However, to be America’s Finest City and remain economically competitive, we must continue to work together to develop solutions on how we will pay for the remaining infrastructure upgrades.
Councilmember Mark Kersey, chair of the City Council’s Infrastructure Committee, has done an excellent job leading this charge. Last year, he kicked off a series of community workshops to solicit input from residents on what kinds of improvements they would like to see in their neighborhoods. I look forward to continuing to work with and support Councilmember Kersey in this role. If you tweet, you can follow the City’s infrastructure conversation on Twitter – #RebuildSD.
While we start 2014 with good news about the City’s financial outlook, I am up to the challenge of addressing our infrastructure needs, and welcome your input on what infrastructure improvements make sense for San Diego. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, I invite you to join me at the State of the City Address on Jan. 15 at 6 p.m. at the Balboa Theatre Downtown. Come and learn about the progress we’ve made so far, and what we can accomplish together in this new year.
I hope your 2014 is filled with great health and good fortune. As always, thank you for the opportunity to serve.