Mayor Jerry Sanders gave San Diego’s three new city council members a little taste of what they should expect during their first year on the council. The day after elections, while the final votes were being tallied, Mayor Sanders unveiled his proposal for citywide budget cuts, accounting for an estimated $43 million deficit in the upcoming fiscal year.
Each new councilmember will not only witness a library and a park close in each of their respective districts, but will also see a cessation of public services, including some fire and police cutbacks.
In the November 5th press release and 57-page financial report that amends the 2009 budget, Sanders gave his reasoning for the major reorganization of city government.
“While our goal has been to minimize the impacts to residents, there’s simply no denying that these budget cuts will be painful to all of us,” said Sanders in his press release. “I want San Diegans to recognize that, even under these extraordinary challenging economic circumstances, we’re going to maintain the city’s core functions and keep in place as many community services as we can — but we’re going to do it without smoke and mirrors.”
In addition to cutting the “smoke and mirrors,” the departments that will be most impacted from the citywide cuts are Fire and Rescue which is asked to cut $4 million, the city’s police department, over $6 million, and nearly $3 million from Parks and Recreation.
For the newly elected city council members, the budget cuts won’t only affect public services to their constituents; Sanders also asked each councilmember to cut 10 percent, or $49,500, from their own budgets.
The current council will vote on the mayor’s proposal to amend the 2009 budget in two weeks.
For more on the mayor’s budget cuts and his welcome to the new city council members, go to sandiego.gov.