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The city of San Diego has reached its limit of easy budget solutions, a report released by the city’s Office of the Independent Budget Analyst said today.

The report, a review of Mayor Jerry Sanders proposed 2011 budget, further points to the need for structural reforms, which city leaders have said they will have by the 2012 budget cycle.

There are no easy, ongoing solutions of any magnitude that we have been able to identify in this review. In past years we were able to identify tens of millions of dollars annually in savings and/or resources which helped to keep branch libraries open and avoid other undesirable service reductions as well. After four difficult budget years, such solutions are much more difficult to come by.

The IBA tallied the city’s 2011 deficit at $211.7 million, closed mostly by a series of cuts passed in December that included civilian layoffs in the Police Department and rolling closures of fire engines.

Also included in that number is a $4.5 million hole that remains to be filled. The Police Department needs an additional $3.5 million and, as we’ve reported, City Council budgets need $1 million. The report said the Mayor’s Office expects to balance the budget in its May revision.


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