Mayor Gavin Newsom ordered city departments to come up with their share in cuts to close the city’s operating budget deficit for the current fiscal year of about $45 million.
Those cut ideas were due to the Mayor’s Office last Friday. It remains unclear the impact, but whatever it is it will get worse since the city is projecting a deficit of $522.2 million for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1.
“This week we’re processing them, I received them on Friday,” Newsom said. “Most likely next week, [we'll make a decision on them].”
It doesn’t sound like Newsom is pleased with all of the department heads when it comes to their cut proposals. “I will say, in the preliminary numbers, some were good, some were not so good,” Newsom said. “At this stage, I got to put everything together. Some departments came back with things they know that I absolutely am firmly going to reject. We’ll have to sit down with them first and say, look, we have to come up with some better ideas.”
One of the challenges, Newsom said, is some department heads offered up for cuts budget items that members of the Board of Supervisors specifically allocated money for during the budget process, referred to often as add-backs. Newsom said “a lot” of the cut proposals were things supervisors had added back. “Here’s the challenge: A lot of them were board add-backs, because those were the things that weren’t a priority last year from our perspective but the board clearly has them as a priority. So I want to be respectful of the board add-backs.”