Mayor Lee Signs San Francisco’s Balanced Budget For 2011-12 That Keeps City Safe, Solvent and Successful

City Budget Protects Core Services, Public Safety and Lays Foundation for Long-Term Financial Stability

7/26/11— Mayor Edwin M. Lee today signed the City & County of San Francisco’s Fiscal Year 2011-12 budget after today’s final unanimous approval by the Board of Supervisors. The $6.83 billion balanced budget closed a $380 million General Fund budget deficit.

“Our budget reflects our core fundamental values in San Francisco and it is the result of our collective hard work and collaboration over the past several months,” said Mayor Lee. “We are protecting vital services that our residents rely on every day while putting us on a course toward long term financial stability. I thank Board of Supervisors President David Chiu and Supervisor Carmen Chu, Chair of the Board’s Budget & Finance Committee for their leadership and commitment in putting forth a budget that keeps our City safe, solvent and successful.”

Mayor Lee took office in January 2011 facing a $380 million General Fund budget deficit and immediately began an inclusive, collaborative approach to solving the budget shortfall. The budget process included an unprecedented level of public input including ten neighborhood town halls and dozens of meetings with residents, labor organizations, small business owners, non-profit service providers and other stakeholders.

Mayor Lee also worked closely with the members of the Board of Supervisors Budget & Finance Committee to identify additional savings and revenues. This process resulted in $20.5 million in changes to the budget, redirecting funding to pay for a new police academy class and to preserve social safety net programs.

“I am proud of the level of collaboration during this year’s budget process,” said Supervisor Carmen Chu, Chair of the Budget & Finance Committee. “Together, with labor, community advocates, City departments, and the Mayor’s Office, we were able to agree on a spending plan that would provide funding for our most vital City services.”

“This budget reflects our shared commitment to basic City services and a safety net for the most vulnerable San Franciscans,” said Board of Supervisors President David Chiu. “After dedicated work from countless City officials and crucial input from community members – and some help from a recovering economy – we have a fair budget for tough times.”

The budget relies on $31 million in savings over two years through an agreement with police officers and firefighters to contribute more to their pensions. In addition, the City’s labor unions participated in a months-long process to develop a pension reform measure for the November ballot that will save approximately $1 billion over the next ten years.

“Once again, we asked our City employees to help protect city services and they responded. They made real personal sacrifice for the good of the City, and we owe them our gratitude. We have demonstrated again that by working together and showing respect for one another, we can find real and significant solutions to our challenges,” said Mayor Lee.

In developing the FY 2011-12 spending proposal, the Mayor focused on creating a five-year strategy to restore City government to long-term financial health. “Today marks the final step in creating a budget for the coming year, but the work of bringing our City’s finances back into long-term structural balance must continue,” said Mayor Lee.

Last spring, the Mayor introduced the City’s first five-year financial plan, which called for several necessary measures to bring the City’s revenues and expenditures into balance, including pension and benefit reform, spending reductions, restoring half of the State’s reduction in the sales tax rate, and a General Obligation bond to fund $248 million in street resurfacing and right-of-way improvements.