The City’s consolidated budget of $2.3 billion is comprised of an operating budget of $1.68 billion and a capital budget of $570 million. Of the total operating budget, the General Fund is $988 million, 67% of which is allocated to police and fire expense.
Public Safety continues to remain a priority City service. We highly respect and are grateful for our public safety personnel. Since 2006, the City has added 477 new police officer and fire fighter positions, 2 new fire stations, 7 replacement fire stations, a new public safety headquarters, a new computer aided dispatch system, and replaced more than 30 EMS units, over 30 fire engines, and more than 10 fire ladder trucks.
Over the past 15 years, the City’s total Public Safety costs have grown faster than the City’s General Fund revenues. This is a critical financial problem that needs to be addressed now to balance future budgets and to secure the City’s long-term financial stability.
Uniform wages in San Antonio are highly competitive among major Texas cities; however, uniform healthcare benefits are richer by a large margin than civilian employees, peer cities in Texas and private employers in San Antonio. Cities and states across the nation are addressing employee benefit costs to manage the rising cost of healthcare expenses.
In the fall of 2013, Mayor Julian Castro appointed a 13-member Healthcare and Retirement Benefits Task Force to study healthcare and pension and provide short term and long term recommendations to reduce cost. The Task Force Findings and Recommendations can be found here.
It is the City’s responsibility to maintain a reasonable healthy financial balance between public safety services and other important City services for our community. To keep the City of San Antonio fiscally strong for the long-term, change is needed.
City Manager Sheryl Sculley discusses public safety services as a priority, the increase of healthcare costs and how to ensure public safety expenses are sustainable.
Presentations related to the recommendations of the Healthcare and Retirement Benefits Task Force appointed by the Mayor and Council.