SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A proposal by Mayor Jerry Sanders to cut library and recreation center hours in half to save money received no support from the City Council during a budget review hearing Thursday.
"Ladies and gentlemen, these proposed cuts will not stand," Councilman Kevin Faulconer said. "The library, all the branch libraries, are the fabric of our city."
Faulconer earlier spoke out against the mayor's proposed reductions in the Parks and Recreation Department budget for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.
For current service hours to be continued, the City Council will have to come up with more than $10 million, but members expressed confidence they would be able to do so with the options at their disposal. Those include including increasing expected revenues by $3 million, using money from the sale of a downtown building to pay for convention center expansion debt to free up
$2.5 million of cash in the general fund, and reducing funding for workers compensation claims by $1.4 million.
When the budget review hearings began Wednesday, Chief Operating Officer Jay Goldstone urged the City Council to proceed with caution and not use fixes that could increase the following fiscal year's shortfall -- already pegged at $41 million.
Faulconer said the library system receives 26,000 visitors daily, who check out 28,000 items, and 1,000 people attend special programs.
"People love our libraries, people use our libraries," Faulconer said.
Libraries Director Deborah Barrow said she has lost nearly one-third of her employees to budget cuts since 2007 even though use of the facilities is up.
Councilman Carl DeMaio said the mayor's budget proposal was "penny-wise and pound-foolish" because it removes safe havens for youth. It also saves top executives at the expense of "front line" employees, he said.
The mayor envisions reducing the equivalent of at least 76 full-time positions in both the Library and Parks and Recreation Departments. According to Barrow, 75 of the jobs will be cut at branches, not the Central Library.
Stacey LoMedico, the director of Parks and Recreation, told the council members that the budget cuts threaten aquatic programs, beach fire rings, lawn-mowing, trail maintenance and after-school programs.
A 16-year-old girl managed to escape Tuesday when a would-be kidnapper grabbed her and tried to pull her into his vehicle in a parking lot at Southwestern College, authorities reported.
As the school year winds down, a lot of students are getting ready to do some traveling with their families. The Nurse Practitioners at CVS Minute Clinic have a few reminders if you are planning on traveling abroad.
An expedition led in part by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego located a missing World War II bomber off the coast of Papua New Guinea and surveyed another at the bottom of a harbor, it was announced Friday.
It was like a scene right out of John Wayne movie Tuesday in East County.
A bull made a break in the not-so-wide open spaces of San Diego Country Estates.
News 8's Dominic Garcia reports on the bolting bovine and its capture.
Be it ever so humble, there is no place like home. But what if that humble home costs over $10 million? News 8's Steve Price takes a look inside a newly built condo in La Jolla that is breaking some San Diego Real Estate records.
Just about everybody on this planet accepts their lot in life, but deep down dreams of becoming a rock star.
Plenty of winter rain means plenty of flowers, trees and grasses this spring.
But it also means, plenty of foxtails.
They are a prickly little plant that blooms every spring and can cause plenty of problems for canine companions.
News 8's Shawn Styles explains how to "out fox" the foxtails.
San Diego County emergency and fire officials are urging residents to protect homes against devastating wildfires as fire season kicks into full gear.