San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee presented his proposed two-year budget this morning calling it prudent yet optimistic about economic growth.
Along with nearly the full Board of Supervisors, several heads of city agencies attended the presentation held at City Hall where Lee highlighted his plan to close a $124 million deficit for the next fiscal year and a $256 million deficit the following year.
He said the city has to continue with reforms and that he aims to keep the city’s financial state “safe, solvent and successful.”
The $7.9 billion budget strengthens the city’s safety net, Lee said.
Last year the overall city budget was more than $7.2 billion.
He noted hiring plans for public safety departments including 300 new police officers and 120 firefighters over the next two years.
“We are making San Francisco an even safer city,” he said.
Lee touted the city’s dropping unemployment rate from 9.5 percent in January 2011 to 5.4 percent last month, calling it an indicator of growth and stability.
“San Franciscans are getting back to work,” he said.
He proposed giving $103 million to the city’s school district and supporting the social safety net by restoring $4 million in federal cuts to HIV prevention, programming and health services and $3.8 million in new money for homelessness prevention services and housing help.
He said water and sewer improvement projects would continue as part of investments in the city’s infrastructure, which he called a priority.
He also pledged to support funding for neighborhood services and small businesses, along with projects at San Francisco General Hospital and for the San Francisco Municipal Railway, which is part of the Municipal Transportation Agency’s proposed nearly $850 million budget.
The proposed capital projects budget is $151 million.
“This is quite a sweet budget,” Lee said at the end of his presentation.
Lee’s budget proposal came after holding six town hall meetings, an online forum and meetings with residents, community organizations, various city commissioners, labor organizations, business owners, and activists.
Now that Lee has submitted his balanced budget proposal, he will work with the Board of Supervisors in the next month on amending the city’s financial plan before the start of the fiscal year in July.
More information about the budget is available at http://www.sfmayor.org/.
Sasha Lekach, Bay City News