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