San Francisco mayor to reach out to public for budget input 

Mayor Ed Lee is looking at continuing the idea of soliciting input from San Francisco residents on budget priorities, and is planning a series of community meetings throughout The City beginning in March, mayoral spokeswoman Christine Falvey said Wednesday.

Unlike last year, when former Mayor Gavin Newsom and members of the san Francisco Board of Supervisors held separate budget town halls, Lee and the board members are now partnering to schedule community meetings in their districts, Falvey said.

Lee has said that tackling The City’s $380 million budget deficit is one of his top priorities. He must submit a proposed budget by June 1.

In an editorial board meeting with The San Francisco Examiner last week, Lee said he has been meeting with the city commission presidents, department heads and many community nonprofits about the budget, and pushing the need for “disciplined planning” over three to five years, not just the current year.

“Then we can ask better policy questions,” Lee said. “What are our level of services in certain areas? How are they going to look in two to three years? Who is sustainable in the way that they operate?”

According to Falvey, Lee also wants “to know what constituents are thinking” about the budget.

Plans to organize the community meetings will take place beginning Friday, Falvey said.

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