Councilors Vote to Retain Full Budget Oversight
City Councilors voted this week to retain review of how the budget is distributed in departments.
The City Council voted against a request by Mayor Arthur Vigeant to present the budget in line item form only earlier this week.
“One of the very few things the council has a lot of pull over is the money,” said Councilor Matt Elder before he voted against the request. "It's about seeing what is going on and trying to watch the money as much as possible."
The request came from the mayor and would have required only one budget line for each department. The majority of the council voted against the change, with the exception of Councilors Edward Clancy, Donald Landers, Robert Seymore and Michael Ossing.
Councilor Joseph Delano said the request would have worked against an ongoing effort to have as much transparency as possible. This is important in order to keep the faith of the voters, he said.
Councilor Elder said the vote comes down to control as well as communication. There are few things the council has direct power over, he said, but the budget of the departments is one of them. The meetings where department heads come forward to discuss their budgets is also an opportunity for productive discussions beyond the budget, said Elder.