SAN DIEGO, Calif. (CNS) - The City Council will hold a special meeting Wednesday morning to discuss Mayor Jerry Sanders' proposal to close San Diego's $179 million budget shortfall.
Sanders' proposal calls for the elimination of 500 positions, of which about 200 jobs are now filled.
Sworn police officers and firefighters won't be cut, but the San Diego Police Department and San Diego Fire-Rescue Department budgets will be cut by a combined $44.6 million.
As a result, police equestrian patrols will be eliminated, the number of canine units reduced, code-compliance officers reassigned, there will be "rolling brownouts" at eight fire engine companies and winter lifeguard service will be suspended at Torrey Pines Beach.
Cuts proposed for other city departments will mean fewer library hours, the removal of concrete fire pits from city beaches, reduced beach grooming, less services at sports fields, the closure of some Mission Bay restrooms, delayed vehicle replacements and changes to the days and times of garbage collection.
Sanders' plan to close the budget shortfall also calls for $95.6 million in one-time savings and budget adjustments, including not adding to the reserves, restructuring a payment into the pension stemming from a legal settlement over retirement system underfunding and putting off the installation of fire sprinklers at City Hall.
The projected budget shortfall in fiscal year 2011 has been blamed on declining sales and property tax revenues and investment losses brought on by the recession.
The mayor has called on the City Council to adopt a new budget by Jan. 1, six months before the next fiscal year begins, to be better prepared for anticipated funding gap.
The meeting, which is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday at City Hall, is the first of three scheduled by City Council President Ben Hueso's office to consider the mayor's proposed mid-year budget amendments. The City Council will also meet on Dec. 9 and Dec. 14, when it will vote on the 18-month spending plan.
Police were involved a pursuit late Saturday that ended with a deadly officer-involved shooting in Escondido.
Two people died early Sunday morning after a high-speed chase ended in a head-on crash in North County.
A man was shot and killed by police at an officer- involved shooting in Escondido, a sheriff's lieutenant said Sunday.
An approaching winter storm is poised to open an "atmospheric river" of subtropical rain clouds on Southern California this week, but the San Diego area is expected to see just a fraction of that moisture, forecasters said Sunday.
A man threw rocks at vehicles on Interstate 5 near Imperial Beach Sunday, and threatened police with a pickaxe as he ran into a riverbed.
San Diego Sen. Toni Atkins will make history Wednesday when she becomes the first woman and first lesbian to hold the California Senate's top job.
A 16-year-old boy was allegedly drunk when he crashed his car into a stopped vehicle, pinning a motorist between two bumpers, police said Sunday.
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.
A large plume of smoke filled the sky in Miramar on Saturday morning after a concrete supply building went up in flames.
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.