Borrego Sun - Since 1949

By Jim Desmond
San Diego County District 5 Supervisor 

Community Input Sought for 2024 – 25 County Budget


Last updated 5/28/2024 at 11:47am

Over the coming weeks, the County of San Diego will actively seek community input, deliberate, make adjustments, and ultimately adopt the 2024 – 25 budget. This is one of the most important times of the year because it is crucial that we spend taxpayer dollars effectively while maintaining a healthy financial state through strong operating reserves. I firmly believe that this money belongs to the community, not the government, and it must be used wisely to improve the lives of all San Diegans.

I am thrilled to share some highlights from our proposed budget, which includes numerous initiatives designed to enhance our community’s safety, well-being, and overall quality of life in North County.

Here are some of the key investments we are making, along with why they are beneficial for our community:

Infrastructure Investments:

Intergenerational Center in Valley Center ($1 million): This investment will fund the development of a community center that serves multiple generations, offering activities and services for both young and old. This center will foster community connections and provide a hub for social, educational, and recreational activities.

Road Maintenance ($4.5 million additional for a total of $65.5 million): This funding will help maintain 2,000 miles of roadways. Well-maintained roads are crucial for safe and efficient transportation, reducing vehicle damage and improving travel times.

Parks and Libraries ($33.5 million for parks, $569,000 for libraries): These funds will support the operation of park facilities and libraries, enhancing recreational and educational opportunities. Improvements include photovoltaic panels on the Fallbrook Library roof, promoting sustainability and reducing energy costs.

Behavioral Health:

Tri-City Psychiatric Health Facility (Over $9 million): This new 13,560-square-foot, 16-bed facility in Oceanside will increase access to psychiatric inpatient care, addressing the critical need for mental health services in our community.

Middle School Mental Health ($5 million annually): Funding for mental health treatment in 15 schools in District 5 will provide essential support to middle school students, helping to address mental health issues early and improving student well-being and academic performance.

Substance Use Recovery ($3.5 million increase): Increased funding for Recovery Residences housing will support adults receiving substance use treatment, providing stable housing and promoting successful recovery outcomes.


Regional Homeless Assistance ($15 million): This funding will continue supporting services in the unincorporated area, helping individuals and families transition out of homelessness and into stable housing.

Homeless Court Resource Fairs (Twice-monthly): These fairs provide access to legal resources for people experiencing homelessness, allowing them to resolve misdemeanors and minor offenses, which can be significant barriers to securing housing and employment.


Affordable Housing Developments (5 developments with 376 units, 8 more planned): These developments will provide much-needed affordable housing, helping to alleviate the housing crisis and ensure that more community members have access to safe and affordable homes.

Multifamily Rental Housing ($2.4 million increase): This boost in funding will support the development of multifamily rental housing in the unincorporated area, increasing housing options for families and individuals.

Support Services:

North County Family Justice Center (One Safe Place, serving 8,000 individuals): This center provides comprehensive services to victims of abuse, including legal assistance, counseling, and emergency shelter, helping them rebuild their lives.

Veterans Independence Services ($2.2 million increase): This program supports veterans in need of long-term assistance, helping them avoid institutionalization and live independently in the community.

Older Californians Nutrition Program (423,500 meals at 28 sites): This program ensures that older adults have access to nutritious meals, promoting their health and well-being.

Library Meals and Food Pantries (13 branches, including 4 in District 5): Providing meals and food pantries at library branches helps address food insecurity and supports community members in need.

Animal Services ($11.3 million): Funding includes a mobile veterinary clinic for underserved areas, ensuring all pets receive the care they need and supporting responsible pet ownership.

Helping Our Youth:

SD Nights Program ($1.1 million): This initiative offers free in-person and virtual activities for youth during critical hours after school, providing safe and constructive environments that help reduce youth involvement in crime.

Public Safety:

Fire Protection ($16 million increase): This funding will enhance fire, emergency, and ambulance services, including 7 County-owned fire stations in District 5, improving our community’s preparedness and response to emergencies.

Sheriff’s Patrol Stations ($86.9 million): Supporting community safety through 6 Sheriff’s patrol stations that serve various unincorporated communities and contracted services to cities like San Marcos and Vista.

Public Health & Protection:

Public Health Lab ($92 million): Continued funding for the new state-of-the-art public health lab, expected to open in 2025, will improve our ability to respond to public health threats and ensure community health.

Live Well on Wheels (New vehicles): These mobile units will directly bring health and wellness services to communities, increasing access to essential health services.

Water Quality Testing ($1.5 million): Funding for testing and reporting beach and bay water quality ensures that our recreational waters remain safe for public use.

These are just a few of the many items I’m focused on for our 2024 – 25 budget. These investments will significantly benefit our community by enhancing our infrastructure, supporting mental health and substance use recovery, addressing homelessness, increasing housing opportunities, and improving public safety and health.

Please do not hesitate to reach out if there are specific items or additional priorities you would like to see addressed in our budget. Your input is invaluable as we strive to meet the diverse needs of North County.

Jim Desmond

– San Diego County District 5 Supervisor