Mayor Gavin Newsom’s chief rival on the Board of Supervisors wants to slash the mayor’s proposed city budget by $37 million and put the money toward housing and health services.
Supervisor Chris Daly has feuded with Newsom over Daly’s previous proposal — which was approved by the full board — to use a portion of this fiscal year’s surplus money on affordable housing needs. Newsom returned the surplus spending proposal unsigned, saying he would not spend money The City does not have and did not include it in his budget.
The budget battle was revived again Tuesday, when Daly submitted legislation that would take away funding from 18 items in Newsom’s proposed budget to fund his surplus proposal and other city needs. The legislation was co-sponsored by Supervisor Tom Ammiano.
The deleted spending includes $3 million for salaries of one police academy class, $6.4 million for street resurfacing, $1.1 million for increased park patrols and $700,000 for Newsom’s proposal to set up a new community court program in the Tenderloin. “He [Newsom] can stand up and say this stuff is better than affordable housing. And I dare him to do it,” Daly said.
Under Daly’s proposal, $4 million would be used to backfill the reduction in federal money for AIDS/HIV services, $1 million to reinstate inpatient psychiatric beds at San Francisco General Hospital, $31.5 million for affordable housing and $550,000 for an affordable housing project adjacent to Mission Dolores Park.
“When he [Newsom] said the money was not there, that The City could not afford to build more affordable housing and deal with this affordability crisis that we have in San Francisco, the mayor was lying,” Daly said.
The legislation is expected to be heard next week by the five-member Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee, of which Daly is chairman.
Newsom issued a statement late Tuesday afternoon, characterizing Daly’s legislation as “the worst kind of election-year politics and terrible public policy,” the statement said.
Committee member Supervisor Sean Elsbernd took issue with Daly’s proposed elimination of nearly $16 million for infrastructure improvements.
Newsom unveiled last Friday his proposed $6.1 billion balanced city budget for the year beginning July 1. Today, the Budget and Finance Committee will begin to discuss its contents.
Supervisor Chris Daly proposes de-funding Mayor Gavin Newsom’s 2007-08 $6.1 billion budget submission by $37 million to fund what he considers The City’s real priorities. Some of the deleted funding items include the following:
» $700,000 for Community Justice Center
» $3 million for SFPD salaries for one police academy class
» $6.4 million for Department of Public Works street resurfacing
» $2.5 million for Department of Public Works new street-tree planting
» $1.7 million for Department of Public Works pothole repairs
» $900,000 for Department of Public Works Hall of Justice rebuild planning
» $1.1 million for Rec and Park Department increase in park patrols
» $713,000 for 311 Center general service and administration
» $713,000 for city Web site redesign
» $500,000 for Treasurer Tax Collector Business Assistance Center
What do you think about The City’s budget process?
Share your comments below.