San Francisco mayor orders police, health and other departments to propose cuts of $206 MILLION by Thursday in desperate attempt to reverse city’s ‘doom loop’ spiral into economic collapse
- Mayor London Breed has ordered San Francisco department heads to propose cuts that will prevent the city from reaching a $500 million deficit by 2025
- Law enforcement faces cuts of $27.6 million while the public health department could lose $25.9 million, according to a DailyMail.com analysis
- The radical cuts are an embarrassing U-turn by Breed, who is forced to tear up the record-breaking $14.6 billion budget she signed off just three months ago
- READ THE REPORT: SAN_FRANCISCOS_CORRUPTION_CULTURE
San Francisco’s mayor has ordered city departments including police and public health to propose budget cuts of $206 million by next week in a desperate attempt to reverse the stricken city’s ‘doom loop’ spiral into economic collapse.
Law enforcement budgets in the city, which is ravaged by homelessness, drugs and a downtown business exodus, face cuts of $27.6 million, while the public health department could lose a further $25.9 million, according to a DailyMail.com analysis.
The fire department must propose reductions of around $10.5 million to meet the mayor’s demand, while city’s crumbling Municipal Transport Agency must find savings of $15.5 million, a review of official figures suggests.
In a letter dated October 11, Mayor London Breed ordered departments to propose massive cuts to this year’s budgets in order to prevent San Francisco reaching a $500 million deficit by 2025.
The radical cuts mark an embarrassing change of tack from Breed, who is now forced to tear up the record-breaking $14.6 billion annual budget she signed off just three months ago. Department heads across the city have until Thursday, October 26 to propose their cuts.
A DailyMail.com analysis of cuts faced by key departments in San Francisco reveals the police department must find savings of $18.5 million and public health budgets could lose $26 million
In a letter to department heads which ordered the cuts, Mayor London Breed said: ‘We simply cannot wait until next year’s budget process to begin to address our growing structural deficit’
The department which tackles homelessness, a major issue in the city’s downtown, faces cuts of $9 million (pictured: A homeless encampment in the Tenderloin District on August 28)
‘We simply cannot wait until next year’s budget process to begin to address our growing structural deficit, which at this time, we project to be least $500 million in Fiscal Year 2025-26 alone,’ Breed wrote.
She has also ordered departments to make other cost cutting measures, including a pause on hiring for some vacant positions, restricting city workers’ expenses and deactivating unused cell phone lines.
The measures come amid a broader economic crisis in San Francisco which economists call a ‘doom loop’. The term refers to a city’s decline when tax incomes fall as residents and businesses leave, causing revenues to decline in a downward spiral that is hard to reverse.
DailyMail.com has previously reported that the city stands to lose $200 million a year through its business exodus – which has seen major hotels and retailers flee downtown. Meanwhile, once-thriving areas have been taken over by homeless camps rife with drug taking, leading to a surge in overdose deaths.
Breed said in her letter to department heads that ‘San Francisco’s economic reality remains challenging’ and that cuts were ‘imperative… to ensure we can meet the needs of our residents while also being financially responsible.’
The letter asks departments to propose reductions of at least three percent from the General Fund support they receive. The General Fund is the money which the Mayor and Board of Supervisors have control over spending, and totaled around $6.8 billion this fiscal year.
A map reveals the major businesses which have left, or plan to leave, downtown San Francisco
A three percent reduction amounts to around $206 million in cuts across the city.
Analysis of the amount each city department has been allocated from the general fund this year indicates the San Francisco Police Department must cut spending by $18.5 million in order to meet the target. It received $617 million from the General Fund in this year’s budget.
The District Attorney’s office, which has a key role in tackling drug-related crime, would need to cut $2.4 million, while the Sheriff’s office cuts could amount to $6.7 million.
Dr Grant Colfax, the director of the Department of Public Health, said it must identify ‘$25.9 million in additional revenue or savings’ to meet the mayor’s demand.
‘As always, DPH will work to avoid service reductions and maximize revenues,’ Dr Colfax said in a report delivered this week to the city’s health commission.
The Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing was allocated $302 million from the General Fund in this year’s budget. The department would need to propose cuts of $9 million to meet the mayor’s target.
Tracy McCray, President of the San Francisco Police Officers Association union, told DailyMail.com: ‘As our city tries to regain the upper hand on the drug and crime epidemic it has suffered through for far too long, any cuts that impact the SFPD’s ability to hire, retain, train, or equip our officers, or put enough officers on the street to respond to, prevent and investigate crimes should be rejected.
‘And now that we are finally prosecuting criminals and holding them in jail, and we’re desperately trying to get medical attention and services to the addicts dying on our streets, this also should apply to the District Attorney, Sheriff, Fire Department, and Public Health. Otherwise, we’re just throwing away all the good work we’ve done to turn the tide away from the criminals who are sucking the life out of our city.’
Breed’s office did not respond to requests for comment.