SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The city of San Diego's budget could take a $41 million hit next year because of separate decisions made this week by the board that oversees the city of San Diego's employee retirement system and the state Department of Finance, Mayor Bob Filner and Chief Operating Officer Jay Goldstone said Wednesday.
The San Diego City Employees Retirement System directors decided to budget about $27 million in upfront costs for Proposition B for the coming fiscal year, which starts July 1. City officials had hoped to defer increased annual contributions to the pension system for another year.
Two-thirds of voters approved Proposition B in June in anticipation of the city saving hundreds of millions of dollars through 2040. But pension system changes will cost the city more than it will save for the first four years or so, according to Goldstone.
The state's elimination of property-tax funded redevelopment agencies will cost the city's general fund about $11 million a year in debt service for Petco Park and about $3 million annually in bond repayments for a previous expansion of the San Diego Convention Center.
Those costs were previously borne by the Centre City Development Corp., the downtown redevelopment agency.
The state Department of Finance will decide how any remaining redevelopment funds are spent, preventing the city from using redevelopment funds for a new Chargers stadium or for affordable housing planned for Broadway and Ninth Avenue.
Filner said he would try to get Department of Finance officials to change their mind regarding some of the projects.
"The position I'm going to take with regards to everything, but especially the budget, as mayor, is not to be Pollyanna. We're not going to say the roof is falling or we're not going to cry wolf, but we are going to try to be honest about the budget," Filner said at a news conference.
He said San Diegans should temper their expectations about things such as expanded library hours or quicker repair of potholes.
The city recently was awarded $27 million in a settlement with San Diego Gas & Electric over the 2007 wildfires, and nearly $7 million in lawsuit over miscalculated fees for the administration of property taxes.
Filner said he wants to use that money to pay for public safety projects, such as replacing the police department's communications system.
City officials previously projected a surplus of about $4.9 million for fiscal 2013-14, and growing surpluses in the future, but they failed to account for pension and redevelopment issues, because those decisions had not been made yet.
At worst, according to Filner, the budget deficit for FY 2013-14 would be about $37 million. The city may have to make a one-time payment up to $10 million to the pension fund, which has been performing below expectations.
Also, the city could lose some state funding for municipal construction projects because voters passed Proposition A, which bans the city from requiring Project Labor Agreements.
A suspected drunk driver was shot by sheriff's deputies after leading them on a pursuit across North County freeways Friday night, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department said.
Fire crews responded to a fully involved building fire in the 7000 block of Amherst Drive in Rolando.
The woman fatally shot at an Oceanside apartment Friday afternoon was identified as a Navy corpsman, and a suspect is in custody.
Warner Bros. brought out all the stops Saturday at Comic-Con with an army of stars, surprises and new footage from films like "Aquaman," ''Shazam!" and even "Wonder Woman 1984," which is only three and a half weeks into production.
Detectives are investigating the circumstances surrounding a man who died Saturday morning on a sidewalk in Old Town.
Fire crews have reached full containment of a wildfire that spread over hilly rural terrain east of Ramona Friday afternoon, officials said.
A strong high pressure ridge will slowly strengthen and expand, putting Southern California underneath it's dome of hot air.
For years, Honor Flight San Diego has fulfilled its mission to fly San Diego’s war heroes to Washington D.C. to visit the memorials dedicated to their service.
Day two of Comic-Con has come and gone, but tens of thousands of people are still hitting the streets of downtown San Diego – pumping thousands of dollars into the local economy.
A 2-year-old girl is in the hospital Friday with serious injuries after she fell from a fourth-floor window at an apartment complex in San Diego's University City neighborhood, police said.