Monday, after the dire budget forecast San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders issued in a speech to the San Diego Taxpayers Association, Councilman-elect Carl DeMaio vowed to propose a mid-year cut of 5 percent to the City Council’s budget.

He also wants staff cuts in City Attorney Michael Aguirre’s office, the Independent Budget Analyst and the city’s ethics commission.

All told, DeMaio outlined $2.7 million in cuts, including 10 staff positions, for the rest of this fiscal year, which began July 1 and runs through June 30, 2009. Over a full year, DeMaio said his proposed cuts would save $5.5 million. Here is a rundown of the cuts and the savings for the current fiscal year:

  • A 10-percent, or $396,000, cut for each City Council office. He also recommended that all new political staff hired after Dec. 1 receive only a 401(k)-style pension benefit with a flat 6-percent matching contribution. Sanders came to agreement in July with city unions on pension reform that moves more of new employee retirement benefits to 401(k)-style accounts, but it does not take effect until next July.
  • A five-position reduction to Council administration staff, which would net $273,400 in budget savings. He proposes eliminating one committee consultant and four council representative positions.
  • Cutting two budget analysts in the office of the Independent Budget Analyst. These cuts would save $116,650 this fiscal year.
  • A three-position cut of the San Diego Ethics Commission staff, including positions of management analyst and executive secretary, that would save $153,500.
  • A $1.8-million staff cut in the city attorney’s office. DeMaio did not identify specific cuts in the city attorney’s office “to respect the prerogative of the city attorney.”

DeMaio concluded his memo by saying that such cuts “may be painful, but are absolutely necessary given the serious financial challenges our city faces.”

DAVID WASHBURN

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