Building The Future

2022-23 Adopted Operational Plan

Executive Summary

Helen N. Robbins-Meyer

Chief Administrative Officer

L. Michael Vu

Assistant Chief Administrative Officer

Nora Vargas


District One

Joel Anderson


District Two

Terra Lawson-Remer


District Three

Nathan Fletcher


District Four

Jim Desmond


District Five

Building The Future

Adopted Operational Plan Message

With your help, we are building the future of the County of San Diego!

A future that is just, sustainable and resilient. One committed to equity for all. Strong enough to withstand adversity and bounce back. And farsighted enough to promote progress and still preserve our environment and natural resources for future generations.

Our new $7.36 billion budget for fiscal year 2022-23 meets that vision, building out the framework our Board of Supervisors has established. It includes support to transform our behavioral health system and to treat substance use. Funding to create places to stay for those experiencing homelessness. Money and added staff to support families at home and on the job. Actions and new offices to provide racial justice and equity throughout our services. Investment in our communities, from new facilities to community gardens. Staff and resources to assist immigrants get established in their new home. It includes actions to address climate change and environmental justice. And it increases use of data to drive decisions and measure results. 

While committing to new goals, we continue to deliver our traditional essential services, using funds responsibly for health and social services, public safety and land use. The new budget is 1.8% larger than last year’s, it enhances services and adds employees to serve you.

For example, 100 new positions to help get food, health care and other essential services to those in need. One hundred new positions for Child Welfare Services and 40 for Child Support Services to strengthen families. One hundred fifteen positions to continue redirecting our behavioral health system from crisis response to continuous care. Ninety positions for Public Defender to provide legal defense and improve transitions back to the community. And 71 new public health positions to heighten our public health capacity.

Our new budget is one for all, shaped by diverse community input and an evaluation of equity across our operations to eliminate longstanding disparities in our communities.

It is rooted in the here and now — and in building the future of San Diego County.

Helen N. Robbins-Meyer

Chief Administrative Officer

Building A Budget For All

The County of San Diego’s vision is a just, sustainable and resilient future for all. It is supported by these strategic initiatives.


Fight climate change, protect the environment and ensure resiliency.



Reduce disparities in health, housing and economic opportunity.


Promote transparency, accountability and innovation in our organization.



Work with our partners and diverse populations to improve quality of life and ensure safety.



Ensure a fair and equitable justice system and provide equal access to healthy environments.


General Management System

We reach those goals by working with you – the community. 

Community engagement is at the center of our operational model, and our values surround that model to guide what we do.

Key Budget Dates

May 5

CAO Recommended Budget Released to the Public

May 19-20

CAO Recommended Budget Presentations

May 23: District 3
May 31: District 4
June 2: District 1

June 6: District 5
June 8: District 2

June 13 @ 9:00 AM

June 16 @5:30 PM

Public Hearings on CAO Recommended Budget

June 24

Revised CAO Recommended Budget Released to the Public

June 28

Budget Deliberations and Adoption

Budget Equity Assessment Tool

The tool is a questionnaire that leads departments to better understand how their respective budgets impacts historically marginalized vulnerable communities. It establishes a framework for resource allocation that advances equity.

Equity Lens

Applying an equity lens for all departments


Community Engagement

Strengthen engagement


Utilization of department specific
equity data


Ensuring accountability


County of San Diego Regional Data

18 Incorporated Cities

Unincorporated Area

Median Household Income

2018: $74,855

2019: $78,980

2020: $82,426


2019: 3,340,312

2020: 3,331,279

2021: 3,315,404


Civilian Labor Force

2019: 1,590,600

2020: 1,538,400

2021: 1,543,700


Median Home Price

Single Family Homes

January 2020: $670,000

January 2021: $744,000

January 2022: $885,000


Attached Homes

January 2020: $435,000

January 2021: $485,000

January 2022: $595,000


Unemployment Rate

2020: 9.2%

2021: 6.5%

February 2022: 4.0% 

San Diego County Population Distribution by Race, Ethnicity and Age

2020 Total Population: 3,343,349

  • SANDAG projects San Diego’s population will continue to grow in diversity by 2035, estimating: 36.3 % White, 41.4% Hispanic, 13.9% Asian and Pacific Islander, 4% Black and 4.4% all other groups including American Indian.
  • San Diego County has the largest number of Indian reservations of any County in the United States – 18

2022-23 Adopted Budget

Total Adopted Budget: $7.36 billion

Health and Human Services
$2,815.1M (38.3%)

Land Use and Environment
$629.9M (8.6%)

Public Safety
$2,500.9M (34.0%)

Finance and General  Government
$815.9M (34.0%)

Finance Other
$426.1M (5.8%)

Capital Program
$171.8M (2.3%)

Appropriations total $7.36 billion in the Adopted Budget for Fiscal Year 2022-23. This is a 1.8% increase over the Fiscal Year 2021-22 Adopted Budget.  

Total Staffing by Group/Agency

19,848 (+1,065 / +5.7%)



(+595 / +8.2%)



(+171 / +9.2%)



(+173 / +2.2%)



(+118 / +6.5%)

Note: Staffing numbers include part-time employees and may not total due to rounding of numbers. 

More than 2,200 staff have been added over five years to advance important priorities, including mental health and substance use programs, homelessness, child welfare and self-sufficiency services, justice reform, and improved medical and mental health support in jails.

Investment Priorities


• Additional $81.9 million and 115 new positions to continue transformation of behavioral health system from crisis response to prevention and continuous care

• Improved services to help people with mental health challenges and substance use disorders, including people experiencing homelessness and youth

• Funds to support Mobile Crisis Response Teams, made up of mental health experts rather than law enforcement, to respond to someone in crisis

• Resources to match the right type of care with the person in need: recuperative care, school-based services, services for foster youth, and LGBTQ community



• Continued implementation of the new Budget Equity Assessment Tool that helps County departments prioritize services and allocations with equity in mind

• Added resources for community engagement to provide opportunities for all community members to play meaningful roles in discussions and decision-making

• Increased translation and interpretation resources will provide greater access to services and information

• $3.5 million for the new Office of Sustainability and Environmental Justice to make  sure all communities have the same protection from health hazards

• New San Diego County Office of Labor Standards and Enforcement will serve as  the central location for education and resources for employers and their workers and pursue enforcement measures to protect workers


• $11.9 million from one-time stimulus funds to develop affordable housing to reduce homelessness

• $10 million made available to cities countywide to buy shelters and places to stay to help people experienceing homlessness across the region

• $3 million to waive permit fees to encourage building accessory dwelling units

• $810,000 to create an inclusionary zoning ordinance that will require new development to include housing affordable to people at or below median income levels


• More than $25 million to cut greenhouse gas emissions in our unincorporated communities, including $1 million to support electric vehicle charging stations

• Nearly $60 million for other environmental improvements, including $40 million to address stormwater, $16.3 million on the Multiple Species Conservation Program and $3.4 million to improve the Tijuana River Valley

• Green building and solar energy will be promoted by waiving an estimated $2.1 million in permit fees

• More than 3,500 trees will be planted around the county

• $2 million for two additional Live Well on Wheels vehicles and a new mobile public health lab to bring services to residents, keeping cars off the roads and reducing greenhouse gas emissions


• Resources dedicated to the Alternatives to Incarceration initiative, supporting alternatives to jail, and services and care for people who don’t pose a public safety threat

• More than $140 million invested in health care services in the County’s jails

• $6.2 million for the Youth Development Academy to help young people who have committed serious offenses by giving them more intensive, longer-term behavioral health, rehabilitative and skill-building services

• $1 million toward de-escalation training for Probation staff, supporting the young people they supervise

• Additional $2.4 million for the Juvenile Diversion Initiative and Transitional Age Youth Diversion program in the District Attorney’s office to give juveniles the opportunity to accept services and counseling instead of prosecution

• Public Defender’s Office will add $21.8 million and 90 staff to defend clients, represent immigrants and the indigent in our neighborhoods, and improve transitions back into communities

• Additional $3.5 million and 18 positions to expand District Attorney services to victims of crime, including the South Bay Center for Community Resiliency and Trauma Recovery, and a resentencing program


• $2.9 million for land for a future public safety facility at Interstate 15 and State Route 76

• $250,000 to start plans and design for a new Jacumba fire station

• Additional $2.2 million to protect communities and reduce community wildfire risk in unincorporated areas through roadside vegetation management and fire breaks

• 71 new positions in Public Health Services to continue to strengthen its overall ability to protect our residents’ health

• $1.4 million will be spent for new and expanded County parks, including Calavo, Star Ranch, Lindo Lake, Park Circle and the Waterfront Park

• $1 million will fund a Food Access Initiative to help create community gardens


• 60 new positions for In-Home Supportive Services for older adults and people who are blind or disabled

• 100 new positions for essential services including CalFresh and Medi-Cal, to help people get the food and health care they need

• 100 new positions for Child Welfare Services to increase emergency response support and quality placement for children in care, to strengthen prevention services and connect families to community-based services

• $31 million from the American Rescue Plan Act will continue to fund a variety of services, including mental health services for young people, support for renters and nutrition programs

• New Office of Economic Development & Government Affairs will foster inclusive economic growth, provide opportunities in arts and culture, and administer grant programs that focus on nonprofits and community-based organizations

• New Office of Evaluation, Performance and Analytics will use data and analytics to better inform decisions that impact our communities and improve service delivery