Written by Miguel Palacios
San Diego mayor Todd Gloria released plans for budget cuts and new spending on Thursday. The city of San Diego received federal aid this Spring as part of the Covid-19 relief package. The city was awarded a total of $306 Million. $141 Million of that aid would be used as part of Gloria’s proposed $1.73 Billion spending plan to begin in July. According to David Garrick of the San Diego Union Tribune, one of the programs proposed by Gloria’s budget plan is something called “sexy streets,” which supposedly is focused on upgrading roadways with bike infrastructure, wide sidewalks, and improvements to slow and reduce traffic.
But despite all the money he is spending in other areas, Mayor Gloria is calling for cutbacks on law enforcement and public libraries. According to Garrick’s report, the most impactful cut for the residents would be the closing of the public libraries. Gloria’s plan would require libraries to remain closed on Sunday and Monday. This would affect all 36 city branch libraries.
Along with the libraries, are cuts to police overtime. With the $4 Million saved from police spending, Gloria plans to fund youth programs as well as an oversight committee for police misconduct. If overtime wasn’t needed, it wouldn’t already exist, but apparently Gloria thinks it’s not necessary. The City of San Diego is going to have some sexy unprotected streets and unprotected residents that definitely aren’t going to the library on Mondays.
Other funds to help balance Gloria’s budget is spending the city’s $8 Million in pension reserves. That’s correct, spending, not saving, reserves intended for retirement and disability pensions. Mayor Gloria also intends to sharply raise property taxes and sales tax revenues.
According to Garrick, The mayor will propose revisions to his budget in May, and the City Council will adopt a final budget in June.