City OKs 200 layoffs, cuts winter lifeguards at Torrey Pines
About 200 city workers will lose their jobs and municipal services will be trimmed as part of an 18-month budget plan that the City Council finalized today in an effort to close San Diego’s $179 million budget deficit.
The City Council voted 7-1, on second reading, to adopt cuts and mid-year spending changes proposed by Mayor Jerry Sanders last month to balance San Diego’s budget.
Councilman Carl DeMaio cast the lone dissenting vote.
It was the council’s third meeting on Sanders’ budget plan over the past three weeks. The panel tentatively approved the mid-year spending cuts last week.
The bulk of the changes will take effect on Jan. 1, six months early. However, a number of the cuts remain subject to the “meet and confer” process with the impacted labor unions.
The budget cycle normally doesn’t start until the beginning of the fiscal year on July 1.
The plan to close the budget gap calls for the elimination of about 500 positions, about 200 of which are now filled. Many of those jobs will come from the civilian ranks within the San Diego Fire-Rescue and Police departments.
The number of fire engine companies on duty will be reduced through “rolling brownouts” and wintertime lifeguards will be eliminated from Torrey Pines.
Police equestrian patrols will be suspended in Balboa Park, the number of canine teams reduced and a Harbor Patrol unit in Mission Bay will be shut down.
Library hours will be cut, fire pits will be removed from beaches, there will be less maintenance at sports fields and beaches, fewer vehicle replacements and changes in the days and times of garbage collection.
Sanders’ plan also relies on $96.8 million in one-time savings and budget adjustments.