Mayor Sam Liccardo has released his June Budget Message, outlining his final recommendations and changes to the Proposed Budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year.
While the City's fiscal outlook is much more stable and improved than a decade ago, there is still limited capacity for the making major new spending commitments. In addition, the City continues to face small projected deficits in future years and potential "clouds" on the economic horizon.
As a result, the Mayor has recommended placing $15.5 million into reserves to protect the City's long-term fiscal stability and focused a modest set of new investments on the community's top priorities.
"We still face challenging years ahead, requiring a prudent and strategic approach to spending," said Mayor Liccardo. "We must focus our investments carefully to improve safety, broaden economic opportunity, enhance neighborhood quality of life, and strengthen our infrastructure."
Among the new investments being proposed for this year's budget:
- Public Safety: In addition to allocating the resources needed to support the ongoing rebuilding of the SJPD (close to 200 new officers recruited over the past 2 years), the budget includes additional investments in public safety, such as:
- Allocating $150,000 for a pilot program that offers emergency housing and/or assistance to victims of domestic or family violence
- Enhancing staffing in the domestic violence and sexual assaults units by modifying the administration model for the Police Athletic League.
- Expanding traffic and pedestrian safety measures in key hot spots, which have been shown to help reduce traffic related injuries and deaths.
- Housing and Homelessness: To aid its efforts to confront the region's growing housing crisis, the FY 18-19 budget proposal includes:
- An additional $3 million to support the City's various homelessness initiatives
- New investments in the City's rental rights program to expand available assistance for renters and create a Rental Registry to better monitor landlord compliance with the City's rent control laws.
- Funding for a pilot program that would help support the early development of unconventional, cost-effective housing concepts. For example, retrofitting dilapidated buildings to accommodate new affordable housing units.
- BeautifySJ: The Mayor has proposed continuing and expanding funding for the City's new beautification initiative, which has enlisted more than 25,000 volunteers, nearly tripled the amount of trash and litter collected, and enhanced the City's response to illegal dumping and free junk pickup requests. The budget would include new funding to:
- Develop My San Jose 2.0, which will expand the number of service requests available via the user-friendly app.
- Add staffing to the City's anti-litter program to support the growing number of neighborhood cleanups taking place throughout the City.
- Expand a partnership with the Downtown Streets Team to address blight along the Monterey Road corridor.
Additionally, the FY 18-19 budget proposal includes funding for various Smart City projects, in which an initial, one-time investment can help significantly improve service delivery and efficiency - and yield ongoing budget savings.
For more details on the proposed budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year, please view the following budget documents:
The City Council will hold a final public hearing on the City Manager's proposed budget and the Mayor's June Budget Message recommendations on the evening of Monday, June 11, and then vote on those measures at its June 12 meeting.