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San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria restores reductions in $5.6 billion city budget with new money

Gloomy city budget turns sunny with millions of found dollars for homeless programs, libraries and public safety
Posted at 5:57 PM, May 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-14 20:57:04-04

SAN DIEGO — SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria's once gloomy budget is no more following an influx of new cash that restores reductions to social services and homelessness programs.

In fact, there's so much new money that the mayor on Tuesday announced enhanced spending in the $5.6 billion spending plan that begins July 1.

"The final proposed budget released today is a fiscally prudent strategy that protects essential city services and provides additional funding for programming at our libraries and parks, as well as homelessness prevention programs," Gloria said Tuesday.

The City Council on Thursday will review the mayor's budget. The council must adopt a budget no later than June 15.

Programs are coming back thanks to tens of millions of new dollars that were not identified when Gloria first released a budget a month ago during a chilly morning press conference under cloudy skies.

Critics said that initial funding reduced spending for the low-income community and the homeless. Following strong push back, Gloria's office found more than $66 million in new dollars.

The mayor's office tells ABC 10:

  • The city is "sweeping" $38.3 million or taking back money from special funds.
  • That $13 million is being rolled over from unspent money from the current budget that ends June 30.
  • Another $7 million is coming from a state grant for homelessness.
  • And the San Diego Housing Commission is chipping in $8 million.

The additional money fully funds the city's eviction protection, homelessness outreach, and rental-assistance programs as well as the daytime homeless services program at the Neil Good Day Center.
In addition, Gloria's office said the budget provides funding for:

  • Teen center programming in Districts 4, 8 and 9, youth swimming and Come Play Outside, an initiative launched by Gloria in 2021 that helps provide low- or no-cost programs and events in historically disadvantaged communities.
  • Wi-Fi access, library hotspot checkouts, digital literacy programming, youth service librarian positions, after-school programs, and the library materials donation match program.
  • Traffic-signal upgrades to improve safety in Barrio Logan and traffic-calming measures on 47th Street in Chollas View.
  • No Shots Fired, which provides outreach and resources to known gang members in specific communities and offers them an opportunity for them to exit gang life.
  • Construction planning for the San Carlos Library.
  • Additional funding for police and fire services and more pay for police and fire-rescue personnel.
  • A 1,000-bed homeless shelter.
  • More paved roads.

Gloria, in delivering his updated budget, said the city has a $172 million deficit. That's up from the $137 million shortfall he said the city had last month.
However, city records show his proposed overall budget is nearly a half billion dollars more than the current spending for the fiscal year that ends June 30.

If the Democrat-controlled City Council next month passes the mayor’s budget, taxpayer spending will have increased 40% since Gloria took office in December 2020, budget records show.

The number of city employees also has increased significantly from 1,572 to a proposed 13,299 workers during his first term.

The mayor is up for re-election in November.