To the layperson, the administration appears to be playing fast and loose with the public's money. I asked, on the record, for an answer to this question--that answer will be given publicly, on the record, by the administration. By sending the council such a sloppy, incorrect budget, the administration has done a real disservice to the people of this city. Where is the budget oversight on the part of the administration? I am galled by the fact that, once again, the administration has the head of one department (Mr. Jackson, of DPWUD) being asked to step into an acting role in the absence of the city administrator.
It is simply not fair that a department head should be asked, suddenly, to take on the role of his superior and answer questions about items that are not normally within his purview. This dual role certainly cannot be helpful to advancing his agenda for the Public Works Department, which has several divisions of its own reporting to him--including Planning, Recreation, Inspections, Economic Development, Community Development, and the Public Works folks at the City Yard.
In addition, it is inconceivable that the city administrator would not be present for this most critical aspect of a budget process he is responsible for presenting and explaining to the governing body. It is not right for the administration to keep playing musical chairs with these "acting" titles. It is wrong for the mayor to willfully pad the budget with hundreds of thousands of dollars in some areas, while ignoring the needs of the community as a whole. It is a continuing affront to the people of this city.