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Inside Report (1)

Ah, the clink of change and the rustle of bills.

Precious few US cities can boast a budget surplus these days. San Francisco is one of them. It started a new fiscal year July 1 with a $156.3 million surplus. How did San Francisco do it? Some say by neglecting services and capital projects. Others say it's the result of better management. Some of the surplus may be spent on projects like repairing city buildings and buying needed buses.

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But much of it will be stashed away for a rainy day to cushion likely future cuts in state and federal aid.m