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Facing $800M budget deficit, SF looks into city department expenses

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Facing $800M budget deficit, SF looks into city department expenses


SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — San Francisco could soon face more budget cuts.

“We are about three quarters of the way into our fiscal year. We are taking a look into how we are doing in the year and how is our revenue coming in,” said Michelle Allersma, director of Budget and Analysis in the controller’s office.

San Francisco’s current annual budget for 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 is $14.6 billion.

By Tuesday, the Allersma said the office will have a detailed report that will inform the mayor what steps to take.

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MORE: Mayor Breed announces SF budget for next 2 years, revealing key city priorities

“We are looking the general fund and we are looking into all the tax revenue. So there is sales tax, hotel tax,” said Allersma.

The controller’s office is digging deeper into the expenses by every city department and the revenues coming in. One concern so far is office vacancies.

“We are definitely seeing not a lot of commercial buildings are selling. We are taking a hit in our real estate transfer tax,” said Allersma.

Ahead of the latest budget review, Mayor Breed asked for city departments to make cuts for the next fiscal year.

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MORE: SFMTA to add 35 more transit fare inspectors amid financial crisis

As the last controllers report looms today the Mayor’s office said in part:

“The Mayor has asked Departments to proposed reductions of 10%, but that doesn’t mean those will lead to cuts. She could choose to take all of their proposed reductions, or only part of them, or none at all.”

One of those asked to make cuts was the sheriff’s department.

“We don’t have anything else to cut. We are already short-staffed. We have cut and we are proposing to cut a little bit of our overtime budget only as a part of that and we are looking at asking for more money,” said San Francisco Sheriff Paul Miyamoto.

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Sheriff Miyamoto is reporting a 36% increase in the jail population over the past year.

MORE: SFUSD officials under pressure from state amid ongoing budget crisis

“We need to deal with the increase in the population and the needs of that population. The transportation cost that are associated with moving people back and forth from our main jail out in San Bruno to the courts,” said Sheriff Miyamoto.

By June 1, the mayor is set to submit a full proposal for the budget to the board of supervisors. Supervisor Rafael Mandelman is part of the city’s budget and finance committee.

“We are in a rough place budgetary. We had to make pretty significant cuts last year and we are going to have to do that again this year,” said Mandelman. “I’m concerned about basic services, public safety of course but I’m also concerned about housing. We have more than 10,000 people every night who used to be homeless and are now housed.”

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Full statement from the mayor’s office:

“The Mayor’s Budget will be submitted by the end of this month. Any new information provided by the Controller will be incorporated in that budget. To be clear, the Mayor has asked Departments to proposed reductions of 10%, but that doesn’t mean those will lead to cuts. She could choose to take all of their proposed reductions, or only part of them, or none at all. And Departments can propose their reductions by finding other sources of revenue, like state and federal grants, to offset their costs.There is a lot of work that goes into balancing the budget, and the Mayor and her staff have been working on this for months. We will have more at the end of the month.”

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San Francisco, CA

Travel rush begins for Memorial Day weekend

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Travel rush begins for Memorial Day weekend


Travel rush begins for Memorial Day weekend – CBS San Francisco

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CBS News Senior Transportation Correspondent Kris Van Cleave provides insight on the high travel numbers for the holiday weekend. (05-24-2024)

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San Francisco, CA

San Francisco's Aquarium of the Bay to get new leadership after scandal

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San Francisco's Aquarium of the Bay to get new leadership after scandal


The Aquarium of the Bay, a fixture on San Francisco’s Pier 39 for almost three decades, finds itself in a financial mess due to a scandal embroiling its now-departed CEO who served for almost a decade.  

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Last month, then-CEO George Jacob told KTVU about a massive transformation of the facility where everything but the aquatic tunnels would be removed and replaced by a much bigger building at warp speed.

“We’re excited about its amazing future where we would transform the aquarium into a climate and ocean conservation living museum. The exhibit area would quadruple. We plan to execute, from the date of permits, in 24 months. That level of transition has never happened before and this is going to be something to behold,” said Jacob.

But at the insistence of the Board Chairman Jon Fisher, Jacob resigned over issues of unpaid bills, financial improprieties, excessive spending on travel, dining, personal spending, and holding overseas events to the tune of almost $750,000, as well as a transition the aquarium could not afford. 

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“There will be no proliferating, there will be no events of any kind until the organization is in much better shape,” said Fisher.

Not only are these the longest aquarium tunnels in the United States, they are unique because they are concentrated on Bay life, and you can rarely see Bay life in the murky waters of San Francisco Bay.

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 The top priority for Fisher: the health and safety of aquatic life. 

“The sharks and the fish…they deserve our very best and this was not it. This is a charitable organization for the public good and, unfortunately, I don’t think the previous plans served the public good, served the animals,” said Fisher.

Another priority: empowering employees through a whistleblower policy. The aquarium survived the recession and COVID-19. Will it survive this? 

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“I absolutely think it has a life going forward and I absolutely think our best days are ahead of us,” said Fisher. 

In the short term, a busy summer season will bolster its finances, but new leadership and major operational changes are coming. 
 



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San Francisco, CA

Police shooting shuts down streets in SF's Bayview neighborhood

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Police shooting shuts down streets in SF's Bayview neighborhood


SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — Police activity has shut down streets in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood Thursday afternoon.

Police say an officer shot a person, but the individual did not sustain any gunshot wounds.

There is an active scene at Ingalls Street and Armstrong Avenue.

Police are asking the public to avoid the area.

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Stay with ABC7 News for the latest details on this developing story.

Copyright © 2024 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.



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