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If you still believed that the city of San Diego was going to cut branch library and recreation center hours next year, four City Council members went a long way to putting that to rest Tuesday. From the Union-Tribune:

For the moment, the leading proposal appears to be a bipartisan mix of budget solutions — slashing overtime, eliminating employee cell phones and skipping a reserve payment — that would free up $13.5 million to alleviate most of the proposed cuts to parks and libraries.

Mayor Jerry Sanders had proposed halving hours at the city’s branch libraries and rec centers to 18.5 and 20 hours a week, respectively. The move would save $10.3 million to help close a $56.7 million deficit. For weeks, council members have said that proposal would not stand.

The four council members — Todd Gloria, Tony Young, Lorie Zapf and David Alvarez — unveiled their plan at a press conference Monday. The largest single element, $3 million from increased tax revenue projections, is hardly a profile in budget-cutting courage. Still, it does represent an alternative to the mayor’s proposal beyond simply decrying the library and rec center cuts.

Councilman Kevin Faulconer also is planning to release his own budget alternative today, the U-T reported. As my colleague Kelly Bennett has noted, Faulconer’s plan includes a cut to city arts and culture funding.

In other city financial news, Councilwoman Marti Emerald has asked for $5,500 in bonuses for her staff, the U-T wrote. Last year, then Council President Ben Hueso had asked for $11,000 in bonuses, a request he rescinded after we wrote about it.

Please contact Liam Dillon directly at or 619.550.5663 and follow him on Twitter:

Liam Dillon

Liam Dillon was formerly a senior reporter and assistant editor for Voice of San Diego. He led VOSD’s investigations and wrote about how regular people...

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