Our offices are pleased to collaborate on a joint budget priorities memo which emphasizes restoring funding for critical public safety·needs, an investment in much-needed infrastructure, funding for new parks, increases in hours of operation for our central and branch libraries, and funding for neighborhood projects that will enhance the quality of life in our communities.
The following are our priorities for additional funding in the FY 2015 Budget:
San Diego Police Department Five Year Plan: $2,300,000 is needed in FY15 to begin implementing the Five Year Plan that was unanimously approved by Council on November 5, 2013. Over the past several years, our Police Department's budget has been reduced in many areas, including personnel and equipment. This Five Year Plan will begin the process of rebuilding the police department and will create safer neighborhoods throughout the city. The funding includes $1,100,000 for 16 FTE sworn positions and $1,200,000 for 16 FTE civilian positions for a total of $2,300,000.
Fire-Rescue Department implementation of Citygate recommendations for new fire stations: $3,621,637 is needed in FY15 to move forward with the recommendations contained in the Citygate report regarding the addition of new fire stations to improve fire-rescue coverage citywide. Three new fire stations are anticipated to be added within the next five yearsEastside Mission Valley, Home Avenue, and Skyline Hills. The FY15 Budget must include operating and maintenance costs for the Eastside Mission Valley Fire Station, which is anticipated to open in FY15. The cost includes the addition of 12.0 FTEs. The new fire stations will improve fire safety within the City by reducing delays and service deficiencies in response to fire emergencies.
Lifeguards Boating Safety Unit: $554, 812 to fund one Boating Safety Unit (BSU) Lifeguard Ill position 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is the equivalent of four FTEs. This increase in staffing is needed because there has been no increased staffing at the BSU for over 25 years, while duties, responsibilities and Lifeguard safety issues have increased significantly. This position will provide much needed staffing for operations during the day and also improve staffing during emergencies on nighttime responses.
Brush Management: $924,000 for the proactive Brush Management Program, which decreases the risk of wildfire by thinning out vegetation that could become increasingly flammable over years of drought. The program was developed and implemented in 2008 by the Fire-Rescue Department as a result of the 2007 wildfires. Prior to 2008, the Department responded to citizen complaints only. The Park and Recreation Department manages and conducts brush management in the City's open space lands. Brush Management contractual costs have increased from $2,051 per acre to $5,720 per acre since the expansion of the program in 2008. The contract covers 300 of the 452 acres required to be thinned annually. The remaining acreage is managed by City staff and budgeted non-profit contracts. The addition of expenditures will enable the Park and Recreation Department to continue to conduct brush management biannually as required by the City's brush management policy.
Park and Recreation New Facilities: $566,187 for the addition of personnel and non-personnel expenses for new park facilities anticipated to open during FY 2015. The new facilities include Montgomery Academy, Civita Central Park, Cabrillo Heights Neigborhood Park, Canyonside Community Park, Cypress Canyon Community Park, Ed Cramer Park, Gonzales Canyon Neighborhood Park, Mira Mesa Community Park, Wedgeforth Elementary, Creekside Park, Morley Green, and Angier Elementary.
Library Hours: $1,707,941 for the addition of personnel expenses to increase Central and Branch Library hours. This item provides funding to increase Central Library hours by three bringing the total to 52 hours per week and Branch Library hours by four to reach a core library schedule of 48 hours per week.
Improvement of Government Operations: $1,158,962 in additional revenue and expenditures are projected related to the Improvement of Government Operations Plan as approved by City Council on October 28, 2013. Expenditure additions include funding for a management academy, efficiency study, and personnel expenses for the following positions:
.00 FTE Deputy Chief Operating Officers
3.00 FTE Executive Secretaries
1.00 FTE Planning Director
1.00 FTE Assistant Planning Director
Partially offsetting the increased expenditures is a projected increase in General Government Services Billing (GGSP) revenue allocations to the General Fund, which will increase as a result of the implementation of this plan. Additionally, this plan included the reduction of three positions that assisted in offsetting the projected additional expenditures.
Prevailing Wage: $608,904 to implement the expanded prevailing wage program approved by Council in 2013. The Prevailing Wage Program ensures that the City complies with federal labor wage laws for projects receiving federal funds and State prevailing wage laws for projects receiving State funds. Additionally, at the inception of the program, the City was required to be in compliance with the State's prevailing wage laws on all water and/or sewer fund projects whose estimated construction costs exceed $10.0 million. San Diego Municipal Code §22.3019 expanded the Prevailing Wage Program in July 2013 to apply the State's prevailing wage laws to all City projects that are "public works" within the meaning of the State prevailing wage law. The addition of expenditures and positions in the Purchasing & Contracting Department is to support the additional workload resulting from the expansion of the program.
City Clerk: $174,135 for the addition of revenue, personnel and non-personnel expenditures related to projects the Office of the City Clerk is required to implement. The projects to be implemented include:
• New master record schedule
• Records Retention Management Program
• City Council chamber upgrades
• NetFile contract increase
• Passport Acceptance Facility Program
• Scanning operations
• Election support
Police Equipment: $867,000 is needed for equipment identified in the SDPD Five Year Plan, including 12 new police vehicles at a cost of $732,000 and equipment for new recruits at a cost of $135,000 for a total of $867,000.
Relocation of Park and Rec Carpenter Garage from Lifeguard Headquarters: An estimated $200,000 in funding is needed to relocate the Park and Recreation Department's Carpenter Garage out of Lifeguard Headquarters at Quivira Basin in order to create a centralized .location in Mission Bay for marine-related public safety operations involving Lifeguards, Coast Guard and Police.
Citizens Charter Review Committee: $210,000 is needed for the City Council to form an independent citizens charter review committee to make recommendations on updates needed to bring the San Diego City Charter into the 21st Century. Over the past few years there have been various charter related issues that have arisen that indicate a need to revise and update the City Charter. As such, the City Council should form an independent Charter Review Committee to provide recommended changes to the Mayor and City Council. Some funding will be required to provide staffing to the committee, including $160,000 for an IBA Policy Analyst (1 FTE) and $50,000 for a Committee Assistant in the Council Administration Department (0.5 FTE) for a total of $210,000.
Climate Action Plan: $122,210 is needed for a Program Manager (1 FTE) to move the Climate Action Plan forward and track its progress and success. The Mayor's Office and the City Council's Committee on the Environment have held a number of hearings regarding the process of updating the City's Climate Action Plan (CAP). The CAP is a critical step in implementing policies that will allow the City to prepare for the known impacts of climate change. Once approved, the CAP will require staffing to allow for coordination among city departments and community partners.
Connect2Careers Hire-a-Youth Program: $200,000 in funding is needed to support the San Diego Workforce Partnership program that pairs young adults (ages 16 - 21) with local employers to provide paid summer jobs to participants. In 2013, $200,000 in city funding led to 200 summer jobs. Local youth gain a sense of responsibility, hard work, new skills and confidence, avoid bad influences and are exposed to a wide variety of careers. Continued seed funding by the city will help the program acquire other major donors and work toward its goal of long term sustainability.
Department of Information Technology: $233,890 is needed to address critical needs. The 5 Year Outlook includes information technology (IT) related expenditure additions and reductions as part of the Critical Operational Needs section. There are reductions in expenditures attributable to the reduced debt service payments on two capital leases for communication equipment that retire during FY14 and a reduction related to the OneSD Citywide expense. Other critical needs offset these savings (see chart below).