San Francisco youth programs could see an additional $3.25 million due to a healthy bump in property tax revenues, but somesupervisors would like to see those voter-allocated dollars go to other needy programs in future years.
Initially, the new funds — which come from the voter-approvedChildren’s Fund, a mix of property taxes and general-fund dollars for youth programs — includedrevenues for Mayor Gavin Newsom’s plan to spend $1.5 million on bank accounts for babies born in San Francisco and $375,000 on vouchers for sixth-graders to visit museums.
Supervisors overturned those ideas last week and suggested new directions for the money — directions that will be finalized by the Department of Children, Youth and Families’ Citizens Advisory Committee tonight.
Those directions could include $1 million for new intensive foster care for 25 youths with severe mental illness, $800,000 to expand job programs for at-risk youth and $490,000 for youth programsat the Ella Hill Hutch Community Center in the Western Addition, DCYF director Margaret Brodkin said.
Although Newsom’s proposals have been tabled for the time being, Newsom spokesman Nathan Ballard called the supervisors’ decision to kill them “shortsighted” and said the mayor will find a way to fund both initiatives.
Supervisor Sean Elsbernd criticized voter-mandated conditions that led the Children’s Fund to have a surplus when other city departments are cutting back.
“As the Children’s Fund grows, it’s almost as if we are coming up with random ideas to spend this money,” Elsbernd said during budget hearings last week. “The Children’s Fund needs to change.”
After a spending plan for the new money is finalized, it will go to the Board of Supervisors Government and Audit Oversight Committee on Monday.