San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer introduced a budget proposal for the new fiscal year that includes the largest investment in infrastructure in the history of the city.
The budget covers the 2019 Fiscal Year, which starts July 1.
Faulconer pitched his budget in front of a construction site that will become the new city library in Mission Hills.
“This fiscally responsible budget will keep our foot on the pedal when it comes to fixing our roads, reducing homelessness and helping people into stable housing,” said Faulconer.
The mayor says his budget prioritizes core neighborhood services, street repairs and homeless programs.
A city record $553 million would target infrastructure, including street repairs, sidewalk improvements and building upgrades.
According to the mayor’s office, $76 million in funding will fix the equivalent of 390 miles of streets.
The proposed budget also includes $28.3 million for the largest recruitment and retention package in the history of the San Diego Police Department. It also provides $8.4 million in funding toward four academies of police recruits.
“What I think is most important, is we’re going to fully fund all of our academies to get 50 bright men and woman there four times a year. We’re going to hit that goal of full (police department) staffing,” said Faulconer.
The plan also allocates $7.9 million for homeless services and programs, including three Bridge Shelters, the year-round interim housing program at Father Joe’s, a Safe Parking Program and new Housing Navigation Center.
In announcing his budget, Mayor Faulconer also criticized past city leadership.
“While we are moving in the right direction, we still have a long way to go because of decades of neglect by past city leaders,” said Faulconer.
The mayor says minimal cuts to programs and services are included in his proposal to offset a $49 million deficit. For example, there is a 2 percent cut to arts programs. The mayor also says there will be a reduction in overtime for police and fire department personnel.
Mayor Faulconer will present his budget to the city council on April 16. After public comment, the council will approve a final budget in June.
A more detailed look at the mayor’s proposed budget can be found here.