Community Commentary Opinion Opinions

Around the County: Budget priorities

This is an important few weeks for the County of San Diego. Although it’s my first year as a Supervisor, I know the importance of organizing our $6.2 billion budget.

The proposed budget for fiscal year 2019-20 is one that is fiscally prudent, maintains a strong reserve, but also increases services in San Diego, especially to help the most vulnerable populations.

One of my biggest priorities when I was elected Supervisor was behavioral health. Our new proposed budget will spend $708 million on mental health services including the addition of 123 workers to provide boots on the ground, 177 psychiatric beds and exploring the creation of a mental health urgent care centers across the region and a mental health hub in Hillcrest.

Also, under the proposed budget we will be adding at least 120 staff members for child welfare services.

Public safety is a top priority and we will be addressing this in the budget. We are creating two achievement centers for young people at risk of recidivism to juvenile hall. We are also adding $15 million for community services and diversion programs.

Something I’ve very excited about is funding for a new fire station, which will be built for Palomar Mountain.

We are dedicating more money for open space parks, planting 3,500 trees on public land and maintain 2,000 miles of roads for the unincorporated areas.

Over the next few weeks the County will deliberate the budget and could make some changes. In the meantime, I’m excited about this budget, what it brings to the District 5 community and North County’s bright future.

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