cityhall3.jpgThe San Francisco Board of Supervisors Tuesday unanimously approved the city’s budget for the next two fiscal years.

The budget, which totals about $7.3 billion for the fiscal year that started July 1, was approved by an 11-0 vote.

It will close a general fund deficit for fiscal year 2012-2013 that had initially been projected at $262 million, but was reduced to about $170 million because of better than expected revenue growth.

The budget includes plans to fund six new police academy classes of 50 officers each over the next two years, as well as six fire academy classes over the next six years.

The budget also included money for each of the supervisors to add a third legislative aide to their office at the cost of $107,000 apiece, an item opposed by Supervisor Sean Elsbernd.

“I have no intention of hiring this aide,” Elsbernd said.

He said his constituents need money for “pedestrian safety, capital improvements … there are a million more priorities than a third aide.”

Elsbernd and Carmen Chu each agreed to forgo the third aide and asked for that money to go toward projects specific to their districts.

The rest of the supervisors decided to keep the money for the extra aide.

“It’s entirely appropriate to make the board as efficient as it can be,” Supervisor Scott Wiener said.

Mayor Ed Lee praised the budget while speaking to reporters prior to its approval by the supervisors, calling it “reflective of our success as a city.”

The board’s vote gave initial approval to the budget. It will return in front of the supervisors next week for final approval.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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