City Enters Era of 'Year-Round Budgeting'

There used to be a time when the city hammered out a tentative budget, politicians and others duked it out regarding the allocations for their pet causes and agencies, and, eventually, everyone got on with running the city.

Well, those days are over. Now the joys of budgeting never end — and the worries of having your funding yanked are constant as well.

“We are definitely in a situation right now, because of the size of the problem, in the mode of year-round budgeting,” affirmed Greg Wagner, Mayor Gavin Newsom's budget director. “When times were better, we waited for a large portion of the year, took a break, and introduced the budget on June 1. With this economic climate, we need to be making continuous work on on bringing the budget deficit down.”

While Wagner talks of year-round budgeting, sadly, with a projected $522.2 million shortfall to make up by June, what he often means is year-round cuts. Around City Hall, in fact, some are calling the mayor's new proactive budgeting “monthly cuts.”

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