Cops, a film office, homeless services. 10 things you should know are in Sacramento’s budget

Steinberg on sales tax increase: ‘One penny could change the economic arc of Sacramento’

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg speaks on Thursday, June 7, 2018. about a proposal to raise city's sales tax one cent.
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Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg speaks on Thursday, June 7, 2018. about a proposal to raise city's sales tax one cent.

Sacramento City Manager Howard Chan sifted through $60 million of requests from city departments to select about $23 million in new projects, programs and positions to fund in his proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

He did so with two things at the front of his mind: Requests from City Council members and the Measure U ballot language from November, which read:

“...to protect and enhance essential public safety services, including 9-1-1 response, fire protection, community neighborhood policing, and other essential services, including homeless supportive services, affordable housing, libraries, park maintenance, high-wage job promotion, and youth programming...”

“It’s a proposed budget with what I feel reflects the commitments that the city has made, and the desires of the council members as I know them to be,” Chan said. “I have no pride of ownership here. What I’m trying to do is put forward something that I feel accurately reflects the commitments of the council as a whole and the desires, as well.”

The City Council will adopt the budget by the end of June, and could decide to remove or add anything to Chan’s proposed budget.

There are plenty of jobs and programs in the proposed budget, and here are a few:

  • 149 new full-time city employees in homeless services, public safety, economic development, youth programming and essential core services.
  • $2.8 million for Neighborhood Development Action/Planning Teams, which would produce two to four neighborhood plans per year for economic development, affordable housing, and transit-oriented development. They would focus on areas that have not received adequate investment in the past. Also included would be a new Community Engagement Team to serve as liaisons, talking to residents and businesses to make sure the city has an accurate understanding of the specific needs of their communities.
  • $300,000 for a financial empowerment center to provide financial counseling to low-income residents. Bloomberg Foundation and Citibank are contributing an additional $350,000 for the center.

  • $3.7 million to expand youth-programming activities, work-force development and after-school sports programs in the Natomas, Robla and Twin Rivers school districts. The new funding also would create an additional 5,000 community center hours citywide – a 37 percent increase. Six community centers would be open Monday through Saturday, while others would see their daily hours extended by two hours.

  • $1 million in homeless funding to support increased neighborhood homeless clean-up from Public Works and expand the Sacramento Police Department’s IMPACT Team, which connects homeless people to shelters and services, to a seven-days-a- week operation.

  • $157,000 for a film office and film commissioner. The new staffer would be tasked with expanding commercial film and media production as part of a larger plan to enhance arts, culture and the creative economy in the city.

  • $2.2 million for increased funding for artists and arts organizations, including “creative economy” and “creative equity” grants administered by the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission. It also funds arts education and youth-focused art projects in neighborhoods.

  • $5.6 million in core services, mostly to improve diversity of the city’s workforce, including $3.6 million for Human Resources to review and rework outdated job specifications and eliminate barriers to attract a diverse workforce, and $1.1 million to update 311’s mobile application and to expand the student internship program.

  • $414,000 for three new development project managers, including one who will be tasked with engaging with stakeholders to develop plans and strategies for childcare. The city has not had an employee focused on childcare since before the recession, Councilman Steve Hansen said during a recent council meeting.

  • A $51 million surplus the council will decide how to spend, and could roll over to next year. Mayor Darrell Steinberg wants to set aside $40 million of the surplus for “inclusive economic development” projects that will benefit the city’s residents of disadvantaged neighborhoods. Hansen earlier this week proposed a set of projects he believes would achieve that goal.

Theresa Clift covers Sacramento City Hall. Before joining The Bee in 2018, she worked as a local government reporter for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the Daily Press in Virginia and the Wausau Daily Herald in Wisconsin. She grew up in Michigan and graduated from Central Michigan University.