Mayor Bob Filner proposes how the city should spend its $11M budget surplus. NBC 7's Dave Summers reports.
There has been some debate over the mayor's proposed use of an 11 million dollar budget surplus.
San Diego Mayor Bob Filner wants to use part of an $11 million budget surplus for the operations and monitoring of the seal camera in La Jolla.
While it may fascinate a few, others are concerned the mayor may be missing the big picture.
Property tax collections are up and government rent is down. Those factors combined amount to an $11 million windfall but what's a city to do?
“Redeveloping our waterfront I think there is a lot that can be done there,” said Downtown resident Lyla Altevers.
Mayor Filner wants to throw money at police, fire and rescue, and streets but also $50,000 for seal watching.
“It puts us on the map both for international research and for tourism,” Mayor Filner said.
Another $50,000 for public toilets and maintenance would be spent on the city’s homeless.
“This is a basic human need for basic human dignity,” Mayor Filner said.
“We do need to keep our city clean. I think that's a better use than say monitoring the seals,” Altevers said.
The mayor is committing $600,000 to keep open year-round the veterans’ homeless shelter and another $50,000 for the check-in center.
Even he admits it's not the solution to the San Diego’s transient problems.
The Mayor said his proposals will show taxpayers a far more responsive government. He'll need a city council resolution to pass them.
The city’s budget deadline is July 1.