New budget cycle goes before voters

In an effort to reform San Francisco’s budget process, city officials have placed a measure on the November ballot that would put
The City on a two-year cycle.

If approved, Proposition A would implement three central objectives: create a two-year budgeting process; require city officials to draft a five-year financial plan; and ensure all labor contracts are submitted for approval at a specific time.

The “rolling” process would require all city departments to budget for two years at a time by 2012. However, San Francisco would continue to appropriate funds on an annual basis and there would be built in processes for adjustments.

The five-year plan would be updated each year and include binding financial policies if they were approved by a two-thirds vote of the Board of Supervisors.

Labor agreements would have to be submitted for approval by May 15, with time to plan for their impacts at the start of each fiscal year, which begins July 1.

The measure was developed in collaboration with Mayor Gavin Newsom and supervisors, but it’s not unanimously embraced by all members of the board. 

Supervisor Sean Elsbernd opposes the measure because, he said, it “doesn't do anything of substance. This is watered down, weak legislation.”

Supervisors Michela Alioto-Pier and Chris Daly also oppose the measure.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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