Mayor Jerry Sanders’ proposed $1.15 billion budget provides a window into how core city services have shifted under his administration.

The mayor has faced years of budget shortfalls and now a projected surplus. With more money, Sanders has proposed restoring library and recreational center hours, and hiring news cops and firefighters.

Over his tenure, Sanders hasn’t distributed budget cuts evenly. He’s prioritized public safety and city lawyers at the expense of other functions like libraries.

The graphic above compares how much funding six core departments got in Sanders’ first budget and how much he’s proposed giving them in his last. (The final budget for the departments will be decided later this year by the City Council.)

Though it may be hard to see, the graphic illustrates how recreational, library and trash services have been hit harder over Sanders’ tenure. The budgets for police, fire and legal services each grew by at least 10 percent. Funding grew by less than 1 percent for parks and recreation, shrunk by 3 percent for libraries and shrunk by 10 percent for trash pick-up.

One last note: The graphic includes figures for Sanders’ first budget adjusted for inflation. Using this comparison, funding has declined across the six departments.

You can find Sanders’ proposed budget and past budgets online. If you find something interesting, be sure to let me know.

Keegan Kyle is a news reporter for Voice of San Diego. He writes about local government, creates infographics and handles the Fact Check Blog. What should he write about next?

Please contact him directly at or 619.550.5668. You can also find him on Twitter (@keegankyle) and Facebook.

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