Here are some highlights of the City Council’s budget memos that were included in our story today about the forthcoming budget battle at City Hall.
By and large, council members underscored two issues in their memos: maintaining the library, park and street repair services at the current levels, and increasing police officer pay. Mayor Jerry Sanders has vowed to consider in light of a recent study that shows San Diego cops earn less than their counterparts around the region.
Council members also used the opportunity to prop up the programs that they say are critical to their district, while others offered ideas for helping the city’s financial outlook.
You can read the memos here, but here are some of their suggestions:
A priority for Council President Scott Peters is to negotiate with the city’s labor unions to seek concessions that could chip away at the city’s billion-dollar retiree health and pension deficits “rather than seeking to reduce our liabilities through costly and unsuccessful lawsuits” — a reference to City Attorney Mike Aguirre’s ongoing pension litigation.
Councilman Kevin Faulconer, the chairman of the council’s newly minted Audit Committee, stated that he wanted to make sure the panel and the city’s in-house auditor general have “the necessary tools to carry out their vital role.”
Councilwoman Toni Atkins stated she wanted to develop a plan to dedicate urban canyons, but admitted in an interview that she’s not holding out too much hope since the idea has been panned in budgets past.
Councilman Tony Young wanted to expand funding for the Commission on Gang Prevention and Intervention. Councilman Brian Maienschein wants to complete a citywide emergency evacuation plan.
Councilwoman Donna Frye wanted to fund the pathways along the San Diego River and make traffic improvements that could transform parts of her district into “walkable communities.”
Councilman Jim Madaffer said the city should reorganize the Redevelopment Agency so it can borrow independently from the city’s currently tarnished financial standing. Councilman Ben Hueso focused on adding and repairing his district’s sidewalks.