Newsom takes scalpel to budget

Almost $5 million in city services — from homeless outreach services to child care — will not receive funding this fiscal year, Mayor Gavin Newsom’s office announced Tuesday.

The mayor signed a $6.5 billion budget on July 30 after closing a $338 million deficit by cutting city services and hundreds of vacant positions on San Francisco’s payroll. The City will now have to make new cuts in coming months in an effort to reduce a projected $250 million shortfall for the next fiscal year.

The mayor had proposed replacing Service Employees International Union workers with a private security contractor, but supervisors shot down the plan and instead opted to dip into The City’s reserve fund. The move to privatize the security guards would have saved about $5 million.

“At the last minute, in the dead of night, the supervisors threw their pet projects back in,” mayoral spokesman Nathan Ballard said. “We have eliminated some of the extra spending.”

The $4.8 million in reductions announced Tuesday will put more money into the reserve fund, according to the Mayor’s Office.

Labor leaders and some city officials decried the cuts as retaliation against SEIU for failing to work with the Mayor’s Office on reducing the budget deficit.

Newsom had called on all labor unions to negotiate cuts to existing contracts.

The reductions announced Tuesday affect about $2 million in programs at the Department of Public Health, including urgent care at San Francisco General Hospital, three vacant nurse positions and a variety of nonprofit outpatient services.

Reductions will also affect a homeless drop-in center in the Tenderloin, health outreach in Bayview-Hunters Point, and child care programs in the Ingleside and Bernal Heights.

Another $500,000 in cuts will affect security guards at two different museums. The guards had been working 35 hours a week but were being paid for 40.

Supervisor Chris Daly saw more than $1 million in programs he supported cut on Tuesday, including almost $400,000 for a homeless drop-in center in the Tenderloin. He said last-minute budget requests are part of the budget process.

“Gavin Newsom is blatantly targeting labor,” Daly said.

But Supervisor Sean Elsbernd said the reductions shouldn’t come as a surprise.

“It’s just a start,” he said. “If anybody thinks this is the end, they’ve got their head in the sand.”

bbegin@sfexaminer.com

Harsh times

Some of the major cuts announced by the Mayor’s Office, and the dollar amount that the cut is expected to save.

Changes and savings

Museum guards’ hours (from 40 per week to 35): $512,612

Cultural Equity Program: $325,000

Adult and aging services programs: $175,000

Teen programming to develop life-skills training: $100,000

After-school care in Ingleside: $85,000

Health at Home nurses (three positions): $300,000

Public health outreach services

Increase for Bayview health initiative: $100,000

Nonprofit General Hospital outpatient services: $657,036

General Hospital operating-room urgent care: $526,380

Child care services in Bernal Heights: $130,000

Homeless drop-in services: $397,446

Miraloma playground: $123,000

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