Todd Gloria releases revised budget, with fewer cuts to services

Todd Gloria's FPPC issue has been resolved, but no lawsuit has been filed by Hillcrest's Mat Wahlstrom.
Mayor Todd Gloria. Photo by Chris Stone

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria on Tuesday released his updated budget for the 2024-25 fiscal year, which still reflects a $172 million deficit but with fewer service sector cuts than the previous spending plan.

“The significant budget deficit facing our city required difficult decisions – none of which I took lightly,” Gloria said. “The final proposed budget released today is a fiscally sensible strategy that protects essential city services and provides additional funding for programming in our libraries and parks, as well as homelessness prevention programs.

“As your mayor, I promised San Diegans that I would use my years of experience to guide us through these difficult financial times and avoid major consequences like empty fire stations, shorter library hours or closed recreation centers,” he continued. . “This budget is balanced and timely and protects the progress we’ve made on the issues San Diegans care about most.”

The proposed budget represents a 9.1% increase over the $5.12 billion budget for FY 2023.

The initial $5.65 billion budget for March received mixed reviews from the San Diego City Council and the public, which called for cuts to equity programs, police and fire academies and some parks and libraries.

Since then, in response to City Council budget meetings and public comment, Gloria has taken other measures to save money, including suspending non-essential spending in city departments, and taking action to ensure that the city “only the most critical positions” before the elections. end of the financial year.

“Advocacy makes a difference, and this is no better demonstrated than by the updates in the Mayor’s May review restoring priority programs,” said Council President Pro Tem Joe LaCava. “The community spoke, the council listened and the mayor responded by restoring programs that protect neighborhoods, prevent evictions and take action on our homelessness crisis.”

In addition, Gloria proposed depositing the balances of some special funds into the city’s general fund, suspending contributions to the reserves and taking one-time actions, such as asking the San Diego Housing Commission for $15 million in use its reserves to partially finance existing programs.

“Now, in the midst of these unprecedented fiscal challenges, we at the Housing Commission understand that it is imperative that we provide resources to focus on supporting those who rely on us,” said Mitch Mitchell, chairman of the San Diego Housing Commission.

The city’s independent budget analyst, Charles Modica, said that while the proposed budget may not deliver what everyone is looking for, it is balanced and “reflects the city’s precarious position,” as it appears.

According to Modica, the cuts proposed this year are intended to be one-time budget cuts, but more significant, permanent cuts could happen next year unless San Diego can secure another source of revenue.

Among the assigned projects is the proposal to convert H Barracks, the city’s former Navy yard adjacent to San Diego International Airport, into approximately 200 spaces for the city’s Safe Parking Program – increasing the program’s capacity to almost is doubled.

Another allocation is for the proposed 1,000-bed shelter at Kettner Boulevard and Vine Street in Middletown — which is far from a done deal as the council continued to hold closed meetings to discuss it.

The final deliberation by the municipal council will take place in mid-June, with the approval of an appropriations ordinance must take place no later than June 30.

– City News Service