Friday, May 01, 2009

Budget: Do Better in 2010

Transparent, yet fishy.

City Council President Rashid Burney took issue with me last week over my pointing out errors in the FY 2009 budget documents.
To wit:
I commend your dedication to every little detail. Your ability to scan a budget document and pick out every little detail that is not perfect whould put you in the Auditor's Hall of Fame. Certainly if there was one, I would nominate you.
I might ask sarcastically, where would that put the auditing firm who submitted the faulty information or the half-dozen city officials who signed off on the document?
Burney further took umbrage at my observation that he asked City Administrator Marc Dashield how the budget amendments were formulated. It was a rhetorical question designed to bring out the process for all to understand, Burney said.
I must admit, Burney hurt my feelings and made me wonder whether I had devolved into nothing more than a nit-picking shrew.
However, at Monday's budget hearing, a majority of the council members present had questions on the final budget document, which they had not seen but were about to vote on. The questioners sought and received a 15-minute recess to allow time to go through the bulky document. Then they voted approval.
This was the grand finale of an attenuated and at times very messy budget process replete with fits and starts, not to mention the controversial typos. But as always in life, there is a chance to do better. The FY 2010 budget year begins July 1. Perhaps this time all the players - the administration, the council, the Citizens' Budget Advisory Committee, city auditors and the state - will be focused, accurate, objective and collegial as they take on the task. And if errors occur, maybe this cast of dozens will find them before a lowly blogger does.
--Bernice Paglia


Blogger Rashid Burney said...

Good Morning Bernice. I did not mean to hurt your any anyone else's feelings. I was just pointing out why I asked the questions: So that the public would have the benefit of the answers.

On your gift - the gift to quickly see what is not kosher in a document - that is a gift and not too many people can do that - I for one really appreciated when you brought to my attention the last typo.

What I wrote to you, I meant as a compliment and I hope you will take it as such.

9:20 AM  
Blogger RASRAHMATAZ said...

Hey Bernice -- not for nothing but when I read the councilman's blog I thought he was complimenting you as well. Just goes to show ya how the written word can oft times give the wrong message.

Keep doing what you are doing!!!

12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought the same as Rashrahmataz. I think your constant questioning and attention to detail does well for the city, and I hope that you will be watching the 2010 budget just a closely. Great going.

2:53 PM  

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