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Writing about the city of San Diego budget and financial problems can sometimes (OK, maybe more than sometimes) be dry. I’m trying to think of new and different ways to bring these issues home.

First thought: Pictures!

Below is the city of San Diego’s adopted 2010 budget (excluding its major construction projects). It should be interactive so if you click on all those little dots you could find your favorite city department, like Real Estate Assets: $3.8 million.

You’ll see that the city’s biggest expenditures are on its police, sewer and water departments and how much bigger they are than everything else.

I’m going to try to use this graphic more times in the future to put in context some numbers that we come across often. Like budget deficits and annual pension payments. Let me know what you think.

— LIAM DILLON

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