Monday, September 27, 2010
City Council Staff
The City Council seems to be intent on building an empire. I can remember when the City Council thought 3 staff positions were too many positions. Now the Council has a Director/City Clerk, 3 Assistant City Clerks, a Chief Auditor, and 2 staff Auditors. Recently they voted to add a Budget Analyst to their growing staff. No money was appropriated for this position, however, when the budget was adopted. I guess the idea is to steal a position and funding from the Administration. The City Charter states the administration, staff and personnel are under the authority of the Mayor. The money should be appropriated from the reserve fund, not from the Mayor's budget. I get their need to understand the budget. It is complicated. However, they already have huge resources available to them. The Finance Department has quite a staff of Budget Analysts, Accountants, and financial managers who work with and manage the city budget. Their own Chief Auditor is a CPA and actually came from the Finance Department. This action is a duplication of staff and a waste of taxpayer dollars. I don't understand this age old problem of city councilors who do not use the resources of the city administration to better understnd city budgets and operations. Why, they have even talked about getting their own City Attorney. That subject, however, needs to be a whole separate blog entry. This is not State government where we need to have complete separate branches of government and duplication of services. There is no need to mirror the Legislative Council. Councils meet weekly, both formally and informally and have easy access to city staff to get information. They are not like State legislators who meet for two months out of the year and are scattered all over the state. A separate Budget Analyst for the Council is a waste of money at a time when money is tight and city needs for infastructure improvements and just maintaining program service levels are high. Priorities make for good governance. This new council position doesn't meet the priority test in these economically challenged times.