Want the news summarized?
Subscribe to The Morning Report.
As your People’s Reporter on Friday, I got my hands dirty with the city of San Diego’s budget, taking your questions and tips and trying to get answers.
Here’s a summary of what we learned:
• The City Council isn’t likely to cut libraries and recreation center hours, at least as dramatically as Mayor Jerry Sanders has proposed.
• Libraries have increasingly received the shaft from the city over the last six years.
• One-time solutions, those that patch over problems in the short-term but don’t solve long-term issues, have accounted for about half of the city’s budget fixes over the past year and a half.
• Pensions remain a problem and a focus, but the damage wouldn’t have been so bad had benefit hikes not been giving retroactively.
• The mayor’s budget is easier to understand and he’s planning to spend about the same as last year.
One further point to consider: Budgets are simply projections for how much the city expects to spend in the next year. They’re less a statement of the city’s spending than its priorities. That’s what makes questions about library funding versus funding for other services, such as arts, a valuable exercise. If not on libraries, then what does the city want to spend its money doing?
Thanks to Randy Dotinga, Vlad Kogan, Seth Hall, Dale Peterson and others for contributing questions. I’m hoping to address at least one more of your questions this week.