Bus Passes, Library Funding and Arts Programs All Get Funded; OB’s Councilman Objects to “Missed Opportunity” Because of No Cuts to “Waste”
By Doug Porter
It’s a new day in San Diego as the priorities of the Filner administration are becoming reality with the passage of the City budget for 2013-2014.
Yesterday [June 10] the San Diego City Council approved a $2.75 billion budget including a $1.2 billion general fund, which pays for basic services like public safety and recreation centers. Virtually all of Mayor Filner’s proposals were endorsed.
The vote on the overall budget was 7-2, with Councilmen Kevin Faulconer and Scott Sherman opposing. Faulconer complained about a ‘missed opportunity’ with the budget, objecting to an overall increase of $30 million with no cuts in ‘waste’. Sherman’s negative vote was prompted, according to news accounts, by his objections to ‘expansion of government’.
Some of the ‘small change’ items, lobbied for by various citizen groups, included in next year’s budget were:
- Funding for bus passes for disadvantaged youth. This item had been a central point in organizing for residents in the City Heights area. Residents packed an earlier council hearing, and hundreds of letters to the media were sent out in support of this proposal.
- New computers for branch libraries, along with funding for expansion of operating hours
- Additional funding for local arts programs
- A city-wide assessment of sidewalks, which has been pushed as a precursor to a comprehensive program of repair and maintenance.
The budget goes into effect on July 1st. Also included are funding for Balboa Park and the continued operation of the Emergency Homeless and the Emergency Veterans Shelters, originally scheduled to close on June 30, 2013.
Democrat Todd Gloria joined the council’s four Republicans in voting to restore cuts in funding for the City Attorney’s office. That 5-4 vote is, however, not enough to overcome an expected Mayoral veto, giving Bob Filner a small victory in his ongoing dustup with Jan Goldsmith.
This is an excerpt from Doug Porter’s Starting Line at San Diego Free Press.