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Budget

Supervisor wants to see results of new Muni contract

Jerold Chinn, SF Public Press — Jul 1 2011 - 3:48pm

 An arbitrator-imposed labor contract for the city's Muni operators went into effect on Friday and is expected to save the city $41 million over the next three years. City Supervisor Scott Weiner wants the transit agency to show where those savings are coming from.

Weiner introduced a resolution at Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting calling upon the transit agency's governing board to give periodic updates on how the agency is saving money from the deal.

Mayor: Social services agencies must plan for years of cuts

Kevin Stark, SF Public Press — Jun 10 2011 - 1:46pm

City Budget: Lee recommends 5-year planning for nonprofits

In a clear departure from his predecessor, Ed Lee, the city’s caretaker mayor, stumped across San Francisco’s 11 districts this spring criticizing ingrained budget balancing techniques as “an incredible act of disrespect.” His big new idea: to encourage nonprofit service agencies to plan their budgets on five-year cycles rather than groping year by year for funds to keep their doors open. That would go hand in hand with the city’s first ever five-year plan, released May 3, which projected a whopping $828 million shortfall five years from now.

Former women prisoners face longer odds staying out after aid programs slashed

Mineko Brand, SF Public Press — Dec 24 2010 - 5:36pm

Rehabilitation taking backseat to punishment

By the time Sunshine Schmidt was 19, her rebellious streak led her to prison in Wisconsin for violating probation on a forgery charge. But it was just the beginning of her troubled young adulthood. As she tells it, the uncaring reaction from a criminal justice system on autopilot put her back in prison for minor violations, only driving her further into the life of small-time crime as she racked up drug and theft-related charges. “Every time, I was released back into homelessness or an abusive partner,” she said. “I didn’t have the resources or tools to get back on my feet.” It was only three years ago, after leaving a California prison at age 27, that Schmidt was able to pursue legitimate jobs and an education. After living in transitional housing, she became a client of Way-Pass, a City College of San Francisco-based nonprofit organization that helps female ex-prison inmates adjust to everyday life.

SF finds revenue under every rock

Conor Gallagher, SF Public Press — Dec 1 2010 - 5:05pm

From the mundane to the taboo to the absurd, city leaders hike any fee they can think of to balance city budget

The cost of living and doing business in San Francisco increased this year in hundreds of little ways. Though they didn’t garner as much attention as the city’s massive budget cuts, a series of new and increased fees emerged from the Board of Supervisors from late May to early July. The goal was to generate revenue beyond taxes, reducing city departments’ reliance on an anemic general fund. The following list was compiled from records from the board. It includes all new and increased fees introduced with the 2010-11 fiscal year. The supervisors enacted more than 400 fee hikes, some for rare activities with small constituencies, such as hosting a masked ball or shooting off a cannon. (Seriously.)

SFMTA faces parking citation shortfall; Muni Metro delays addressed

Jerold Chinn, SF Public Press — Nov 8 2010 - 11:39am

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is facing a $5.8 million deficit for the first budget quarter of 2011. The move of parking control officers to patrol special events and construction projects from regular duties is the main cause of loss in revenue for the agency. Also, officials addressed recent Muni Metro delays in the past two months, causing frustration with Muni riders.

Some funds restored, temperature lowered at UC protests

Rosemary Macaulay, SF Public Press — Oct 13 2010 - 5:40pm

Students, staff and faculty protested across nine UC campuses last week in defense of public education after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the 2010-2011 state budget, which partially restores the deep budget cuts made to higher education last year. Though less fired up than they had been during the previous year’s demonstrations, the protesters at Berkeley remained far from satisfied.

In second week of school, nearly 50 district staff still without jobs

Rosemary Macaulay, SF Public Press — Aug 25 2010 - 3:01pm

Even as classes began last week for San Francisco’s 55,000 public school students, nearly 50 teachers and other staff remained out of a job as the school district struggled to find openings to rehire them after a summer of budget cutting. Previously laid-off staff continued to get recall notices, with the most recent rehires announced Thursday. The majority of recalls were made in the last month. Still, eight teachers and 40 paraprofessionals remained laid off.

Arts groups make the case for greater slice of public funds

Gianmaria Franchini, SF Public Press — Aug 21 2010 - 5:39pm

Nonprofit art organizations are big business in San Francisco, employing 28,000 people and providing tens of millions in state and local revenues. And they want politicians to pay attention. “There is nothing more important we can do than advancing art in America,” said Randy Cohen, vice president of local arts advancement at Americans for the Arts. He said the arts have a large impact on job creation and state and local government revenue.

Green hip-hop group pruned by budget cuts

Ambika Kandasamy, SF Public Press — Aug 20 2010 - 2:50pm

A local organization that promotes environmental consciousness through hip-hop culture is going on hiatus this fall after losing major funding from the city of San Francisco. Grind for the Grind hosted its first — and final — “eco-music festival” of the year in Oakland last weekend. The event, FreshFest, brought local hip-hop musicians, artists and sustainable food producers together for a day of solar-powered live jamming, healthy eats and green-themed crafts. After losing its San Francisco grant, the festival was free to move from Yerba Buena Gardens, where it had been for two years, to Oakland’s Mosswood Park. But there still wasn’t enough money to put on the usual four summer festivals.

San Francisco left seeks to channel spirit of ’75

Mineko Brand, SF Public Press — Aug 17 2010 - 4:34pm

It could have been the plot of a science fiction novel, or perhaps “Rip Van Winkle.” Thirty-five years after its first meeting, the Community Congress awakens in 2010 to find its city and the world transformed — and perhaps a new reason for being. Many things in San Francisco have changed since the first such gathering in 1975. The first Community Congress was held that June and is credited for several major political changes to the city, including rent control and district elections.

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