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.
The ex-husband of a retired Army captain from San Diego who went missing over the Labor Day weekend has been arrested on suspicion of murdering her in San Bernardino County, authorities said Monday.
Temperature records were set in two East County locations Monday during the second day of a fall heat wave, according to the National Weather Service.
Puerto Rico continues to struggle to recover from the devastating blow Hurricane Maria delivered last month, but one San Diego student, who once lived on the island, is doing his part to help with the relief effort.
City officials said Monday they are embarking on a study to find out why some recently repaved roads in San Diego are deteriorating quicker than expected.
The winds eased, some of the smoke began to clear and the forecast Monday offered a tantalizing chance of rain to thousands of firefighters trying to corral the wildfires that have laid waste to the nation's most celebrated wine-making region.
The City of Santa Rosa was devastated by the recent wildfires. Thousands of residents lost their homes and now, a San Diegan who grew up in Santa Rosa is stepping in to help.
It's been one month since SeaWorld released three endangered sea turtles that had been rehabbed after washing up in Oregon.
As we are watching residents in Napa Valley return to find nothing left of their homes, we can certainly relate to their agony here in San Diego. Some locals are doing what they can to help when disaster strikes locally.
The American Cancer Society’s soiree at the US Grant Friday night opened with an unforgettable performance that showed what money raised can do to prevent cancer.