Most cupcake recipes, no matter the flavor, start with the same basic ingredients. The same could be said for city budgets.

It’s not too surprising, then, that Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s budget proposal looked a lot like former Mayor Bob Filner’s, even with the two politicians’ differing ideologies.

They both set a $3 billion budget to include about 10,000 workers and many, many city departments. And they both spent about $230 million on firefighters and $65 million on the department in charge of building permits.

But Faulconer faces rosier economic times than Filner did when he first took office. That’s set up the current mayor with a little more money to play around with.

In this San Diego Explained, NBC 7’s Catherine Garcia and VOSD’s Lisa Halverstadt use a cruelly delicious metaphor to lay out Faulconer’s first budget plan.

Catherine Green was formerly the deputy editor at Voice of San Diego. She handled daily operations while helping to plan new long-term projects.

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