A reduction in services and longer wait times are in store for the county of San Diego because of looming budget cuts in the next fiscal year, officials said today.
County supervisors were given a preview of the kind of cuts they can expect to be proposed in the budget for the 2009-10 fiscal year, which will be presented for their approval in two months.
"The news is not particularly good," Chief Administrative Officer Walt Ekard told the board.
San Diego County's finances have taken hits from several sides. The flailing economy has led to less-than-expected property and sales tax revenues while California budget problems have resulted in cuts to state funding. The Wall Street meltdown badly hurt the county's investment portfolio, Ekard said.
Ray Fernandez, who oversees the county's various public safety agencies, said cuts being considered include closing the Descanso Detention Facility -- which would save $10.3 million annually -- decentralizing the sheriff's SWAT team and reducing administrative staff.
Additionally, the District Attorney's Office might suspend its Cold Case Unit and assign greater caseloads to prosecutors, Fernandez said.
Since the state has pulled funding of a program to monitor the mentally ill, there will be less supervision, he said.
Fernandez said despite the proposals, the county will try to protect public safety from the bulk of its cuts.
Other managers listed proposed reductions in park hours and acquisition of new materials for libraries.
Several supervisors said they opposed "backfilling" funds that have been taken away by the state.
Ekard said the federal stimulus package will keep the cuts from being even deeper. He also warned that none of the ideas were set in concrete.
A 27-year-old man suffered fatal injuries as the result of a "punching game'' inside of a bar Saturday morning in the Gaslamp
neighborhood of San Diego.
SANDAG began removing call boxes along urban highways throughout the San Diego region this month and will continue to do so through June, reflecting a decrease in call volume due to the increase in cell phone ownership.
Authorities today announced that police have arrested a suspect in connection with Friday's sexual assault on the campus of San Diego Mesa College. The name of the suspect was not immediately released.
Showers will be mostly light Saturday morning, decreasing into early Saturday afternoon. Another round of showers expected to push through late afternoon ending late Saturday night.
Police Chief David Nisleit Friday strongly disavowed what he described as an unofficial, "never authorized" departmental program that rewarded officers for making narcotics arrests.
On Friday, San Diego Police announced their search for a suspect involved in a robbery off the San Diego State University campus.
A court-appointed receiver has taken control of a Pacific Beach "hoarder house" that has accumulated trash, created unsafe conditions for children and harbored vermin in recent years, the San Diego City Attorney's Office announced Friday.
The owners of Hauser's Patio reached out to News 8 Friday morning asking to be put in contact with the couple who had their furniture stolen from their patio in Pacific Beach this week.