Memos

Final Budget Priorities and Revisions to the Fiscal Year 2022 Budget

Support the Campaign by Donating Now

DATE: May 26, 2021

TO: Andrea Tevlin, Independent Budget Analyst

FROM: Councilmember Vivian Moreno

SUBJECT: Final Budget Priorities and Revisions to the Fiscal Year 2022 Budget (Print Memo)

Over the last few weeks the Council has heard from many San Diegans regarding their priorities in the city’s proposed budget. Public testimony and feedback about the city’s FY22 budget is critical to ensuring the services and programs that the public is advocating for are included in the final adopted budget. I appreciate the Mayor’s revisions to the proposed budget released on May 18, 2021, that included items I strongly advocated for during the City Council’s Budget Review Committee hearings, such as restoring Library services and funding critical CIPs through the Climate Equity Fund. The creation and funding of the Climate Equity Fund is a major accomplishment by the Mayor and City Council to ensure that underserved communities will receive the infrastructure investment they need to adapt to and be resilient to the effects of climate change.

Taking public testimony and staff responses to Council questions into account, I submit this memorandum which contains my priorities for the Fiscal Year 2022 budget. I have proposed $32.7 million in new or restored expenditures and suggested over $43 million in budgetary resources.

EXPENDITURES

INDEPENDENT DEPARTMENTS

Office of the City Auditor
The proposed budget for the City Auditor’s Office includes a $91k increase to Budgeted Personnel Expenditures Savings, which decreases salaries and wages. This amount is roughly equivalent to 1.00 Senior Performance Auditor position. Reducing the independent City Auditor’s budget in any manner decreases transparency and good governance within the city. The Audit Committee unanimously recommended twice- once in January and again in April- that the City Auditor’s budget not be reduced. The removal of the $91k wages reduction should be included in the final FY22 Budget.
Approximate cost: $91,000

Office of the City Clerk
The City Clerk’s office is the gateway for San Diegans to access their city government. It is critical that the Clerk’s Office be provided with sufficient funding for public meetings, archives preservation, and records retention. To ensure the Clerk can continue to maintain operations the office requires an additional $5,137 in non-personnel expenditures.
Approximate cost: $5,137

INFRASTRUCTURE
Barrio Logan Truck Route Traffic Calming Infrastructure CIP
Project Description:
The FY22 budget should include a Capital Improvement Project (CIP) that will install street-calming infrastructure on Beardsley St. (from Logan Ave. to Harbor Dr.) and Boston Ave. (from 28th St. to 32nd St.) to divert toxic air from Barrio Logan and enforce the Barrio Logan Truck Route.
Estimated Cost: $100,000

Marcy Park Improvements
Project Description: This project will replace and expand the playground at Marcy Neighborhood Park in University City and will also include curb ramps, drinking fountains, walkways/ramps, irrigation system adjustments, and landscaping.
Estimated cost: $349,000

Oak Park Library
Project Description: The Oak Park library project requires funding for funding for design. The FY22 budget should allocate $300,000 to ensure design costs are funded.
Estimated cost: $300,000

Park Development in Underserved Communities
The following park development projects in underserved communities should be funded and have CIPs created for them in the FY22 budget.

  1. Boston Avenue Linear Park: Funding for the creation of a General Development Plan.
    Estimated cost: $120,000
  1. Berardini Field: Funding for the creation of a General Development Plan.
    Estimated cost: $50,00
  1. Chollas Creek Watershed Regional Park Master Plan: Funding to update the plan
    Estimated cost: $350,000
  1. Castana Street Natural Park: Funding to for an Engineering Design Study/General
    Development Plan.
    Estimated cost: $130,000
  1. Emerald Hills Park: $500,000 Funding for a community-led design process.
    Estimated cost: $500,000
  1. Kelly Street Neighborhood Park: Funding for the creation of a General Development
    Plan.
    Estimated cost: $100,000

South University Library Expansion Design
Project Description:
A CIP for the South University Library should be included in the FY22
budget and funded with $100,000 to begin design of the project.
Estimated cost: $100,000

Unimproved Streets Infrastructure
Project Description:
Design for the following unimproved street locations to be built to city
standards should be funded in the FY22 budget.

  • South Bancroft Street at the intersection of Greely Avenue in the community of Stockton
    • Estimated cost: $250,000
  • Redwood Street at the intersection of 46th Street in the community of City Heights.
  • Marilou Road between 48th Street and Euclid Avenue in the community of Webster.

University Heights Joint Use Facility Expansion
Project Description:
Expands the University Heights joint use park facilities with San Diego
Unified School District.
Estimated cost: $200,000

Future Infrastructure/Commercial Paper/Bond Issuances and/or CDBG Reprogramming
The projects listed in Attachment A are high priority community needs for the FY22 budget.
Consideration should be provided to those projects eligible for any additional FY22 funding
opportunities.

NEIGHBORHOOD SERVICES

Arts and Culture
The FY22 proposed Arts and Culture funding is approximately $7.1 million, a decrease of more
than 8% from the FY21 Budget, and a decrease of 50% from the pre-pandemic funding level of
$14.2 million. The city needs to refocus and reaffirm its commitment to arts programming
throughout the city. The final FY22 budget should include $2M in additional funding towards
arts and culture programming. In addition, over the course of FY22, the city must develop a plan
to get back on schedule to implement the Penny for the Arts funding plan.
Approximate cost: $2 million

Library Department
The FY22 budget includes a plan to re-open libraries in communities of concern in the second
quarter of the fiscal year. The need for library services is critical in underserved areas where
families do not have the resources to purchase reference materials or access private
programming. Acceleration of the re-opening of 14 libraries in communities of concern is critical
and additional resources should be allocated in FY22 to ensure that those libraries open in the
first quarter.
Approximate cost: $500,000

Parks and Recreation Department
To ensure the continued health and safety of trees throughout the city’s parks, the FY22 budget
should include an additional $500k for pest treatments to target three pests: South American
palm weevil, Gold Spotted, and Shot Hole Borers.
Approximate cost: $500,000

Transportation Department- Graffiti Abatement
The proposed budget includes funding for graffiti abatement services, but the Department does
not have all of the resources necessary to abate all residential graffiti requests, which average
between 2,500-3,000 annually. To fund all of these requests, the Department requires an
additional $100k. This additional funding should be included in the final FY22 budget.
Approximate cost: $100,000

Transportation Department- Overall Condition Index (OCI) Update
The Transportation Department requested $500k to do a pavement condition assessment to
update the Overall Condition Index (OCI) of city streets. This assessment is recommended for
completion every four years, but the city has not completed one since 2016. Additional funding
should be included in the final FY22 budget to ensure the city continues to properly maintain its
streets.
Approximate cost: $500,000

Transportation Department- Shade Tree Trimming
The proposed budget includes insufficient tree trimming services. Tree trimming standards
recommend that all palm trees receive service once every two years, and shade trees once every
seven. At the current level of funding, palm trees are being taken care of at the two-year rate, but
shade trees currently average 24 years between service. Increasing the service level of shade tree
trimming to once every ten years requires an additional $900k.
Approximate cost: $900,000

Transportation Department- Streetlights Funding
Installing new streetlights and repairing broken streetlights is critical to ensuring safe
communities and to providing adequate lighting for bike lanes and pedestrian pathways. An
additional $2.5M should be included in the FY22 budget to allow a greater level of streetlight
repair and installations.
Approximate cost: $2.5 million

Transportation Department- Weed Abatement
The proposed budget includes a reduction of $328k for weed abatement. This cut will only allow
the Department to respond to the highest priority Fire Marshal requests and right-of-way
spraying and leaves no resources for manual removal of weeds on the median or road shoulders.
An increased frequency for services will allow for faster response to constituent requests for
weed abatement, reduce fire hazards and keep our communities well maintained. This funding
should be restored in the FY22 budget.
Approximate cost: $328,000

Youth Empowerment
For decades the city has not invested in providing services or programs to underserved
communities to help empower young people and improve their lives. The following items should
be included in the FY22 budget:

  • Funding for and creation of a community-led youth violence prevention program.
    • Estimated cost: $1.5 million
  • Teen Nite Program
    • Estimated cost: $100,000
  • Creation of an Office of Child and Youth Success to invest in family and youth health,  wellness, and safety
    • Estimated cost: $350,000

PLANNING

Planning Department- Otay Mesa/Nestor Community Plan Update 
Include the Otay Mesa-Nestor Community Plan Update in the FY22 community plan update  work plan. The first Otay Mesa-Nestor Community Plan was adopted in 1979 and it was last  updated in 1997. Funding should be allocated to begin work on this plan update in FY22. 

Planning Department- Barrio Logan Community Plan Update 
Include adequate funding to continue work on the Barrio Logan Community Plan Update. This  plan update should be completed in FY22. 

PUBLIC SAFETY 

Commission on Police Practices 
The Commission on Police Practices requires additional funding to conduct a national search for  an Executive Director. 
Approximate cost: $25,000 

Lifeguards 
Lifeguards have responded to an increased number of injured hikers on the coastal cliffs,  enforcement activity on Mission Bay and critical rescues during normally slow times of the year  on the oceanfront. In addition to an increase in daytime emergencies, their night crew has  experienced a drastic increase in emergency response volume and intensity, which requires  increased staffing resources. Currently, the city has a total of five Lifeguards working from sunset to sunrise every night, tasked with responding to all water-related emergencies from Point  Loma to Torrey Pines. All five of these Lifeguards typically are required to respond to water  related emergencies. To ensure there is adequate lifeguard staffing to respond to these  emergencies two additional 24-hour, 7 day a week lifeguard shifts should be added to the FY22  budget in addition to one Sergeant position and one Lieutenant position. This amounts to the  following staffing resources:

  • Addition of two 24-hour shift (Night crew) (10 Lifeguard II FTEs): $634,610
  • Addition of one 24-hour shift (Night crew) (5 Sergeant FTEs): $382,825
  • Addition of one 24-hour shift (Night crew) (2 Lieutenant FTEs): $184,412
    Approximate cost: $1.2 million

Homelessness Outreach 
The city should supplement the current resources provided to PATH to ensure the provision of  proper outreach services to the city’s homeless population. 
Approximate cost: $500,000 

Police Department 
Police Department Data Collection and Reporting: Funding should be allocated for a  pilot program that will allow the police department to conduct regular data reporting and  collection. This data can be used to monitor patterns of inappropriate conduct by police  officers and provide the city with a tool to prevent future instances of discriminatory  policing and unneeded use of force. 
Mobile Crisis Response Team/CAHOOTS: The city must invest in a mobile crisis  response team program, similar to the CAHOOTS model that has been successful in  Eugene, Oregon. CAHOOTS is a program meant to handle non-criminal, non-emergency  police and medical calls, (mental illness, substance abuse, homelessness) as well as other  requests for service that are not clearly criminal or medical. Successful models operate  with teams consisting of a crisis intervention worker who is skilled in counseling and de escalation techniques, and a medic who is an EMT or a nurse. This structure allows  CAHOOTS teams to respond to calls that would otherwise be handled by police officers,  who are not specially trained to interact with people who are suffering from a mental  illness. The city should seek reimbursement from the County of San Diego for the full  cost of this program. 
Approximate cost: $10 million 

RESERVES

General Fund Reserve 
The city did not budget a General Fund Reserve contribution in FY21. The FY22 Proposed  Budget also does not include a Reserve contribution. The FY21 and FY22 Reserve is projected  to remain at the FY20 balance of $205.7M. In the absence of a FY21 Reserve contribution, the  FY21 Reserve is $8.2M less than the Reserve Policy target and the FY22 Reserve is projected to  be $10.7M less than the Reserve Policy target. In order to at least make up for the absence of a  contribution from FY21, the FY22 budget should include an $8.2M contribution.
Approximate cost: $8.2 million

OTHER 

Civil Litigator in the City Attorney’s Office 
The FY22 budget should include sufficient funding for 1 Deputy City Attorney FTE to serve as a  civil litigator in the City Attorney’s Office. 
Approximate cost: $172,000 

Personnel Department 
The FY22 budget should include funding for an Associate Personnel Analyst to assist with  recruiting for the city’s large amount of vacant positions and to implement the recommendations  in the City Auditor’s Performance Audit of the City’s Strategic Human Capital Management  issued in April 2020. The positions are existing FTEs but the Department does not have  sufficient funding to fill these positions. 
Approximate cost: $93,000 

Public Power Feasibility Study 
The FY22 budget should include sufficient funding for a public power feasibility study to  examine alternatives for the city’s provision of energy to its residents. Funding from the  franchise agreement minimum bid should be utilized for this study in FY22.
Approximate cost: $500,000 

Vacancy Fee Study 
The FY22 budget should include sufficient funding for a vacancy fee study to determine the  effect that vacant properties have on the city’s housing crisis.  
Approximate cost: $75,000 

SUGGESTED REVENUE SOURCES 
The cost of the expenditures listed above is approximately $32.7 million. In order to ensure the  FY22 budget is balanced, I am offering up potential alternative revenue sources that total over  $43 million. 

Outside Contracts Reduction 
The FY22 proposed budget includes a 2.6% reduction to outside contracts. An additional 1.4%  reduction in outside contracts spending in the FY22 budget results in a savings of $3.2M. The  funding realized from this additional ongoing reduction could be used for ongoing general fund  costs. 
Available resource: $3.2 million 

Cancellation of Kearny Mesa Repair Facility Lease 
Cancelling the lease for the Kearny Mesa Repair facility could save up to $13.8M. Available resource: $13.8 million 

Convention Center 
Reduction of $2.5M in the city’s proposed allocation to the Convention Center. Available resource: $2.5 million

Dissolution of the Communications Department 
Dissolving Communications as a standalone department and returning Public Information  Officers to individual departments would allow the city to realize at least $481,000 in savings  related to the elimination of two management positions.  
Available resource: $481,000 

Elimination of New Communications Department Positions 
Four new positions (3.00 Program Coordinators and 1.00 Multimedia Production Coordinator)  are proposed to be added to the Communications Department in the FY22 Budget. Eliminating  these positions would result in an additional $494,000 to be used on other city services in the  FY22 budget. 
Available resource: $494,000 

Management/Unclassified/Unrepresented Reductions 
Savings of $1.4M can be realized from instituting a one-week furlough for all unrepresented  management positions. 
Available resource: $1.4 million 

American Rescue Plan Funds 
The FY22 budget should include an additional $5M from American Rescue Plan funding. Available resource: $5 million 

Registrar of Voters Refund 
On May 13, 2021, the City Clerk informed the Mayor and City Council that the Registrar of  Voters (ROV) will provide the city with a $3M refund of previously paid elections costs due to  the ROV receiving reimbursement from CARES Act and HAVA for election activities. This  funding should be utilized as a one-time resource in the FY22 budget. 
Available resource: $3 million 

Additional Climate Equity Fund Contribution from SDG&E 
The franchise agreement introduced by Council on May 25, 2021 included an additional $2M contribution from SDG&E for the Climate Equity Fund. That funding should be allocated to  eligible projects in the FY22 budget. 
Available resource: $2 million 

Mobile Crisis Response Team/CAHOOTS  
The city should seek reimbursement from the County of San Diego for the full cost of a mobile  crisis response team program, similar to the CAHOOTS model that has been successful in other  cities.  
Available resource: $10 million 

Reimbursement of Costs Related to Emergency Water Rescue Activities
Recently, the city has expended staffing resources on rescuing people attempting to enter the  United States via vessels along the San Diego coast. San Diego public safety personnel must  respond when vessels experience failure and passengers lives are at risk. On May 2, 2021, a  vessel capsized off of Point Loma with over 30 people on board attempting to enter the United States. It was one of the largest rescue events city lifeguards have had in recent history.  lifeguards rescued more than a dozen people from the water and performed CPR on multiple  patients while on scene. Similar events have continued at a more frequent pace and just this past  week, lifeguards have responded to two other vessels with people attempting to enter the US that  were caught inside the surf during the middle of the night, resulting in dozens of rescues and a  fatality. The costs related to activity by city employees concerning federal immigration enforcement and rescues should be reimbursed by the federal government. The Government  Affairs Department should pursue reimbursement for these costs that have fallen to the city and  explore the potential to request the federal government for pro-active funding to ensure the city  has proper resources to respond to future events along the coast as well and to rescue those in need. 
Available Resource: $1.2 million 

Thank you for your consideration of restorations and reductions outlined above. This memo  reflects my top priorities and will serve as the basis for my support of the budget.

Volunteer

Join
Our Campaign