SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A $5.36 billion budget for the County of San Diego was approved Tuesday by the board of supervisors for fiscal year 2016-2017, which begins Friday.
"Today's budget maintains an excellent balance between the fiscal discipline demanded by our residents, while also meeting the needs of our most vulnerable population," Chief Administrative Officer Helen Robbins-Meyer said. "The proposed budget before you today is one that all San Diegans can be proud of."
The budget is part of a two-year operational plan.
"Our mission and our goal is to truly help each and every one of us live well," Chairman Ron Roberts said before the 5-0 vote. "The budget before us today is one that all San Diegans can take satisfaction in."
County officials plan their spending in two-year cycles. The actual budget for the fiscal year is scheduled to be considered for adoption in August, but today's approval of the operational plan provides the county government the necessary authority to conduct business until then.
"We have a lot of challenges on the horizon and now is not the time to let down our guard, even though we are in better fiscal times than in past years," Vice Chairwoman Dianne Jacob said. "We never make everybody happy, but our job is to balance the interests and to make sure fiscally, most important, fiscally, that we keep on a very sound, strict track."
The budget is higher than the $5 billion first proposed in May.
The new budget will include an increase of $59 million for behavioral health services, including expansion of psychiatric emergency response teams and more housing and support for homeless people with mental health issues. An increase in spending is also planned for helping refugees, restorative justice, diversion and youth court, security at county facilities and summer night lights at some neighborhood parks.
The county plans to add the equivalent of more than 360 staff years, bringing total employment to 17,396 staff years -- quantified in that manner to account for part-time positions. Most of the new jobs will be in public safety and in the Health and Human Services Agency.
"I've often heard it said that nobody cares how much you know, they want to know how much you care," Supervisor Bill Horn said. "I think the county has demonstrated that. I think our actions have spoken louder than our words. We've put our money where our mouth is."
Backers of a proposed ballot initiative that would pave the way for San Diego State University to acquire the SDCCU Stadium property for campus expansion submitted more than 100,000 signed petitions to election officials Tuesday.
Ocean Beach residents on Tuesday packed a town hall meeting to sound off about a recent wave of crime in their neighborhood.
The city of El Cajon is responding to backlash after 12 people were given citations for handing out food to the homeless.
The Women’s March is scheduled to take place this coming Saturday, but there may not be enough public transportation to handle the tens of thousands of people who are expected to march because no trains will be running from North County.
One of San Diego's most decorated war heroes has died at the age of 98. In Tuesday's Zevely Zone, Jeff is in Poway to say farewell to a legend.
A proposed ballot initiative to increase hotel tax revenue would generate $3.78 billion to expand and update the downtown convention center, $2.02 billion for homelessness services and $604 million for street repairs over four decades, according to projections released Tuesday by supporters.
A woman accused of leading San Diego police on a slow-speed pursuit pleaded not guilty Tuesday to felony evading and misdemeanor counts of resisting officers.
For the second time in ten days, young puppies have been found dumped in the trash in San Diego County. In the latest case, two Chihuahuas about 7 weeks old were found in a trash can at the Old Town trolley station.
Emergency crews worked to rescue a paraglider who went down in a ravine in La Jolla Tuesday morning.