Get To Know The County Budget

2024 - 25 Recommended Budget


Sarah E. Aghassi

Interim Chief Administrative Officer

L. Michael Vu

Assistant Chief Administrative Officer


Ebony Shelton

Chief Financial Officer / General Manager, Finance and General Government Group

Dr. Eric McDonald

Interim Agency Director / General Manager, Health and Human Services Agency

Dahvia Lynch

Interim General Manager, Land Use and Environment Group

Holly Porter

General Manager, Public Safety Group


Board of Supervisors 


Nora Vargas

Supervisor

District One

Joel Anderson

Supervisor

District Two

Terra Lawson-Remer

Supervisor

District Three

Monica Montgomery Steppe

Supervisor

District Four

Jim Desmond

Supervisor

District Five



A Message from the Interim Chief Administrative Officer
Sarah E. Aghassi

San Diego County is a region with nearly 3.3 million people. There is a lot to love about this place we call home.

Nearly the geographic size of Connecticut, our county is a destination spot for almost 32 million visitors a year. It’s home to wonderfully diverse residents who live, work and recreate in a place that includes beaches, mountains, desert and some of the rarest and most unique environmental habitats in the nation.

Our organization is responsible for providing many services to support the entire region – things like food and restaurant inspections, beach and bay water-quality testing, elections, social services, public health programs, foster care, adult protective services and more.

In our unincorporated communities, we provide all of those things as well as city-type services, from fire protection and maintaining roads and flood control districts to libraries, parks, law enforcement and land use decision-making that shapes our communities for generations to come. The communities within the unincorporated area make up a good portion of the region. In fact, if the unincorporated area were a city, it would be the second largest in our region by population and larger geographically than Rhode Island and Delaware combined. So it’s not a surprise that our County budget—$8.48 billion—and the role it plays in the lives of everyone who lives and visits here, is also significant.

We build our budget on our core values—belonging, equity, access, sustainability, integrity and excellence.

And we could not do it without your help; from meeting you in our communities, collecting your thoughts in surveys and getting together with you online, we know you are our best partners in moving the region forward.

Because of our work together, this is a budget that not only provides the essential services that we all rely on; it also strives to make a difference in areas that increasingly affect our community.

Housing is one of the most pressing issues of our time, and we are working to significantly reduce homelessness and create affordability for all income levels. This new budget includes investments in resources for people experiencing homelessness to provide access to shelter, housing and services, as well as $30 million for resources to encourage housing affordability and remove barriers to housing production.

You’ll also see our budget continues to invest in safety-net programs that help more than 1 million vulnerable residents – ensuring access to programs like CalFresh and Medi-Cal – to make sure people have the food, health services and financial support they need.

The County is dedicated to sustainability and reducing the impacts of climate change, investing in watershed protection, adding public electric vehicle charging stations, and planting thousands of trees while also reflecting that commitment in our own operations with a plan to reduce carbon emissions in County facilities by 90% by 2030.

Additionally, this budget will maintain its investment in the County of San Diego’s team, the workforce that is proud to serve you, a team that is the heart and soul of all we do, a team that wants to make a difference.

There is much more to explore in the recommended budget and more to learn about the investments being made in this region we are so proud to call home. I invite you to look through our open budget website. Together, we are building a better region – a place we not only call home, but one where every one of us can truly be at home.

Sarah Aghassi

Interim Chief Administrative Officer

The Foundation


Our Vision

A just, sustainable and resilient future for all.

Budget Equity in Action

Departmental budgets must show how they help historically marginalized, vulnerable communities and people by using tools developed by the Office of Equity and Racial Justice that consider community engagement, data and accountability.


Based On Values


What The County Does


18 Incorporated Cities

Unincorporated Area

Incorporated Cities

County government provides many services that support the entire region, covering those who live in local cities seen in the gray section of the map and the unincorporated area in the green section. These include things like social service assistance, health programs, foster care, adult protective services, food and restaurant inspections, and elections.

Unincorporated Area

For those who live in the unincorporated area, County government is responsible for things a city government would typically do, like provide police and fire protection as well as maintain parks, libraries and roads.

Where Does Funding Come From?



Federal, state or other governments

Property taxes

Fees for Services

Other sources

Budget Process


The County works with community members throughout the year to help shape programs and services and inform the budget.

Visit engage.sandiegocounty.gov to get involved.


The Interim Chief Administrative Officer submits a recommended budget to the Board of Supervisors in May.


Budget presentations are shared at Board of Supervisors and community meetings.


Public feedback is provided online and at public hearings.


A revised budget is prepared.


The Board deliberates and adopts a budget that takes effect July 1.


Important Dates


May 2

Recommended Budget Released

online comments open

May 14 & 16
10 AM

Budget Presentations to Board of Supervisors

May 23 at 5:30 PM 
May 29 at 6pm

Community Budget Meetings


June 4 at 9 AM
June 6 at 5:30 PM

Public Hearings on Recommended Budget

June 13
5 PM

Budget Hearings Formally End
online comments close

Revised Recommended Budget Released

June 25

Budget Deliberations and Adoption

How to get involved


Review and Comment: May 2 - June 13

Watch Board of Supervisors Meetings:

Total Recommended Budget: $8.48 billion

Fiscal Year 2024-25


Health & Human Services


$3,441.1M

(40.6%)

Land Use & Environment


$796.0M

(9.4%)

Public Safety


$2,739.0M

(32.3%)

Finance & General Government


$927.2M

(10.9%)

Finance Other


$447.3M

(5.3%)

Capital Program


$132.9M

(1.6%)

  • Increase of $317.7 million or 3.9% over the Fiscal Year 2023-24 Adopted Budget.
  • This reflects an overall strategy to sustain core County services, limit growth in mandated programs, operate new County facilities and efficiently manage the growth of staffing.

Total Recommended Staffing: 20,459.25

Fiscal Year 2024-25



Health & Human Services

8,243.50

(+10/ +0.1%)


Land Use & Environment

2,167.75

(+44/+2.1%)


Public Safety

8,077.00

(+12/+0.1%)


Finance & General Government

1,977.00

(+6/+0.3%)

Increase of 72 positions or 0.4% over the Fiscal Year 2023-24 Adopted Budget.

Budget Highlights

Infrastructure

Roads, libraries, parks and other community enhancements.


  • $132.9 million total to provide new facilities and maintain existing ones to allow employees to continue providing excellent customer service.
  • $480.8 million total for Public Works to build and maintain roads and manage the region’s sanitation and flood control districts.
    • $40.5 million increase for a total of $189 million for road safety including traffic signals, curb ramps, pedestrian crossings, guardrails and new sidewalks and bike lanes.
    • $4.7 million to prevent storm flooding by keeping culverts, channels, levees and storm drains safe and clean.
    • $4.5 million increase for a total of $65.5 million to maintain 2,000 miles of unincorporated roadways.
  • $75.8 million total for Parks and Recreation to promote health and wellness, safe communities and civic pride through thousands of programs.
    • $33.5 million total to operate 157 park facilities, 58,000 acres of parkland and 389 miles of trails.
    • $20.2 million to conserve natural resources, protect habitat and species, and improve environmental conditions, including in the Tijuana River Valley
  • $66.6 million total for County Library to offer a physical and virtual hub of education, entertainment and culture.
    • $22.8 million for a new Casa de Oro Library.
    • $12.4 million to curate all library materials, digital and print.
    • $569,000 increase to operate 33 branch libraries, 4 electric bookmobiles and 5 automated book kiosks.

Behavioral Health

Mental health and substance use support.


  • More than $1.1 billion in total investments for Behavioral Health Services.
    • $28 million increase for substance use residential and outpatient services.
    • $25 million to expand and support the public behavioral health workforce which includes the development of a new training and tuition program.
    • $15 million increase to implement Senate Bill 43 for Involuntary Behavioral Health treatment.
    • More than $9 million to provide services in the new Tri-City Medical Center Psychiatric Health Facility.
    • $4 million increase for a total of $11.1 million to address the opioid crisis.
    • More than $4 million for youth suicide prevention.

Homelessness

Access to shelter, housing and other services to ensure people have a safe place to live.


  • $98.7 million total to support people at risk for homelessness, immigrant and refugee communities and other vulnerable groups to promote equity for all in the region.
    • $15 million for the Regional Homeless Assistance Program.
    • $7.8 million increase to help those experiencing homelessness in the San Diego and Sweetwater riverbeds.
    • A second safe parking site is expected to open in summer 2024, expanding emergency housing options for the unincorporated communities.

Housing

Housing opportunities to meet community needs.


  • $90.9 million total for Housing and Community Development Services to provide housing resources for vulnerable populations, develop affordable and supportive housing, and help achieve self-sufficiency for families.
    • $10.6 million in new funding for the Innovative Housing Trust Fund to help build affordable housing.
    • $2.4 million increase to boost multifamily rental housing in the unincorporated area.
    • $500-a-month rental subsidy continues for nearly 400 older adults who are at risk of homelessness, rent-burdened and in need of financial aid.
  • $58 million total for Planning and Development Services to balance community, economic and environmental interests to ensure the highest quality of life for all in the region.
  • $30.1 million to facilitate housing by creating affordable housing programs and removing barriers to housing through things like guaranteed plan review times for 100% affordable housing projects.

Support Services

Nutrition, health, financial and other programs to help vulnerable individuals and families.


  • $812.2 million for Eligibility/Self-Sufficiency Services to help
    provide access to food, health care, housing and general relief
    for people with no other means of support.
  • $2 million increase to expand food security through community
    gardens, nutritional education, meals, food pantries and acceptance of EBT benefits at 18 certified farmers markets.
  • Over $200 million for In Home Supportive Services to provide in-home assistance for vulnerable adults.
  • A location in National City will serve as the future site of the South County Family Justice Center and offer local crime victims access to trauma recovery services in one place.
  • $145 million investment in medical and mental health for incarcerated adults.
  • $9 million investment in medical and mental health for youth in institutions.
  • $2.2 million increase to help veterans who need long-term support to avoid institutionalization.
  • $479 million for Child and Family Well Being to provide family strengthening and prevention services to keep families together, and child protection services.
    • More than $158 million for families supporting foster and adopted children.
    • $2 million increase for child abuse prevention.
    • $2 million increase to help youth leaving foster care with transitional housing.
    • A new Prevention Hub to help families before they reach a point of crisis.
  • $11.3 million for Animal Services, including $1.3 million, three full-time employees and a mobile veterinary clinic for underserved areas in the unincorporated area.

Justice Reform

Transforming the justice system to ensure equity and accountability.


  • More than $230 million total investment in Alternatives to Incarceration to reduce jail populations and maintain public safety through prevention, diversion and reentry planning.
    • $3.6 for Community Care Coordination Reentry Support connecting justice-involved people with significant needs with care-based services like housing, mental health and substance use treatment, medical care and employment and education.
    • $3.3 million for the Public Defender’s Holistic Services Unit that brings together clinicians, substance abuse assessors and housing navigators to assist clients.
    • $2 million for the District Attorney’s Juvenile Diversion Initiative which helps keep youth and teens under 18 years of age out of the juvenile justice system while addressing the root causes of harmful behavior.
  • $7 million and 43 full-time employees for the Youth Development Academy to house, care and rehabilitate youth in the justice system.

Public Safety

Law enforcement and fire protection.


  • More than $2.7 billion in total investments for Public Safety.
    • $87.1 million for fire, emergency medical and ambulance services.
    • $16 million increase for fire, emergency and ambulance services in the unincorporated area.
    • $4 million for the Medical Examiner to address an increased caseload of deaths due to fentanyl overdoses.
    • $5 million to start replacing the 50-year-old Ramona Sheriff Substation.
    • $400,000 for Ramona Fire Station 80 remodel and fire training tower.
    • $500,000 for the Gun Violence Prevention Program.
    • 2 full-time employees added to the Economic Crimes Division at the District Attorney’s Office.
    • $51 million to improve adult detention facilities.
    • $6.3 million for East Mesa Juvenile Detention Facility improvements.

Public Health & Protection

Keeping communities healthy and preventing illness.


  • $291.8 million for Public Health Services to prevent epidemics and the spread of disease and encourage healthy behaviors along with assuring access to health services for all through Public Health Centers, home visit programs, and pharmaceutical services.
  • Continued funding to build a new state-of-the-art public health lab that will test for infectious diseases.
  • Funding and staff to deploy two new Live Well on Wheels vehicles.
  • $55.5 million for Environmental and Health Quality to protect environment quality, promote environmental awareness and ensure compliance with local, state and federal environmental laws.
    • $15.6 million total to inspect restaurants and other food facilities.
    • $14.8 million total to regulate 14,000 hazardous material operations to prevent exposure to spills.
    • $1.5 million total for testing and reporting beach and bay water quality.

Environmental Sustainability

Protecting the natural environment to preserve it for future generations.


  • $18.2 million increase to protect the region’s watershed and for new green infrastructure projects.
  • $16 million to preserve land to protect species as part of the Multiple Species Conservation Program.
  • $2.5 million total to update the Climate Action Plan.
  • $2 million to plant 4,000 new trees on County property to lower greenhouse gases.
  • $1.8 million for installing new electric vehicle charging stations for the public.
  • $1 million to advance the Zero Carbon Portfolio Plan to reduce carbon emissions from County facilities by 90% by 2030.

Other Highlights


• $9 million to advance broadband connectivity in the rural areas of the county.

• $4.9 million for the Office of Evaluation, Performance and Analytics to study County data to find patterns and trends that can help leaders improve programs, services and policies.

• $1.3 million for the Office of Labor Standards and Enforcement to work with communities and businesses to improve labor standards, ensure compliance and support for victims of wage theft.

• $500,000 to expand the Social Equity Program to address the disproportionate harm caused by the War on Drugs on communities of color by providing economic access and equity in the cannabis industry.

• $500,000 to implement the Uplift Boys & Men of Color initiative to provide a holistic approach to connecting at-risk youth to wrap-around services, trauma support systems and workforce development opportunities.