Update, 7:50 p.m.
The budget is done. Long live the budget.
Details are still trickling in, but we can tell you a thing or two.
All Proposition Js have been rejected. No service will be privatized — city employees and sheriff’s deputies will still provide security at SF General, City Hall, Laguna Honda Hospital — and everywhere else you can name.
The Community Justice Center will stay open.
To do so, the Board took the sage advice of the Budget Analyst, finding ways to slash $20 million from all city departments, including from the city’s public safety agencies.
And there’s $7 million worth of Mayor’s Budget Magic — the new budget assumes that revenue projections were off, and that the city will get $7 million more from the state than originally thought. Boy — THAT was easy!
Or was it?
Throughout the supervisors’ self-congratulatory talks are warnings of “the other shoe”: the ongoing mess in Sacramento. We could be back here very, very soon — it’s as easy as saying, “Hey, now we have that $7 million — now we don’t!”
And “unless we have an assurance” that “unforeseen circumstances” don’t hurt the very programs that are, in theory, saved, “this list isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on,” said Supervisor Chris Daly, who noted that last year, almost half of the Board’s budget add-backs were lost in February during the Mayor’s mid-year cuts.
That doesn’t bode well at all. But let’s ignore that for now, shall we?
First:look at what you’re not losing, San Francisco!
— Five housing inspectors back to work at the Department of Building Inspection;
–Ladies Night! at the Mission Drop-In Center is restored (not what most of you think, we’re sure);
— $1.7 million back to the Department of Children, Youth and their Families;
–$570,000 back to the census project;
–$228,000 to the Otis Street shelter
–and pots and pots of money all over, from 22 recreation directors’ jobs saved, six extra lifeguards at the Hamilton pool, and no fee at the Arboretum.
That’s right — the Arboretum fee remains free!!
Where’d the supervisors get that money?
— $300,000 less given back to the Public Defender. That’s one-and-a-half less lawyers (get out the lawyer-cuttin’ sword, folkses!) Talk was made late, late Wednesday about putting back another $450,000 to the public defender’s office. To be continued, mothers.
— Parking meters in Golden Gate Park. More details on that as soon as we find out.
— $6 million in reductions from the Fire Department.
Fire Department brass say it might lead to brownouts; supervisors maintain that “they don’t need to do that.”
— $6 million in reductions from the Police Department budget.
A police academy class will be delayed.
What are you still losing, San Francisco? Most things we didn’t mention yet.
The original post follows below.
Happy New Year! It’s July 1, the beginning of a new fiscal flip of the calendar. It seems only yesterday that we were ensconced in the doom and gloom of FY 2008-2009. But by all accounts, FY 2009-2010 will make us forget those bad old days forever — if only because we won’t be able to afford our memory drug prescription anymore. Or was that because said memory drugs will be incinerated in our impending apartment fire? Anyway.
For the several dozen of you eagerly awaiting news via SFGTV’s live feed of today’s 11 a.m. Budget and Finance Committee meeting, here’s what’s happening: Mayor Gavin Newsom, Controller Ben Rosenfeld and Supervisor John Avalos have whipped out their calculators and are, as we type, hunched over the budget, hashing it all out.
Repeated attempts to get City Hall insiders to leak something to us have resulted in a chorus of “Fuck offs”, so there’s sadly very little we can tell you. Except the above: one city hall insider — could be a supervisor, could be a department head, could be a janitor — is ready for both success and failure. Which: good planning!
In past years this wrangle has continued to the wee hours of the morning. We’re not sure how long we’ll follow it — we need to take Muni home, we don’t have an after-hours City Hall pass and we don’t have any libations handy — but anything we hear will be posted in this space.
Update, 4:40 p.m. This is why we became a reporter, folks — so that we could hang around all day and wait for the tiniest tidbits of information. We were never any good at hobnobbing, which is why we have for you the following: nothing.
We did find out that Supervisor Bevan Dufty was to fly to Krakow, Poland, for the honor of being San Francisco’s representative at a sister-city ceremony. That ceremony is scheduled for tomorrow, Poland-time — Dufty was to fly out of SFO by 7 p.m.
Might not happen.
“Now I’ll probably never get invited back,” the supervisor said.
The last we hear from other print outlets’ crack reporting teams is that we could convene at 5 p.m. That, too, appears to be slanderous bullshit.
Update 5:28 p.m. Wonks might be interested to know that, according to Newsom press secretary Nathan Ballard, the interim budget has yet to be signed. Why the delay? Friday is the last day for signage. Why does this matter? If it’s vetoed, then the city can’t pay its bills. Why isn’t it signed yet? Negotiations over the current budget.
Or so we think.
Update, 5:33 p.m. Budget analyst Harvey Rose has entered the chamber and sat down. Why is this news? We’d like to think that if we were the analyst, we’d have good enough information as to not have to sit around for six and a half hours.
Update, 6 p.m. It’s rumor time! Do you like rumors?
The following rumors are floating around City Hall:
1. The progressive wing of the Board will have about $45-50 million of givebacks from Mayor Gavin Newsom, to be spread among health and human services, DPH, wherever they want.
2. All of Newsom’s priorities — including the CJC — are going to be in the budget.
3. A very angry-looking Jeff Adachi is stalking the halls — angry because, we hear, his give-back is only going to be $300,000, whereas he wanted closer to $1.2 million.
Update, 6:12 p.m.
More details/rumors, what-have-you.
1. The give-backs/add-backs will total $43.7 million.
2. The Community Justice Center is saved.
3. No city workers/services will be privatized. In other words, the Prop Js are out.
We’ll know more when the meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.