§C-70 I. Council and Mayor budget meeting. After the Council committees file their reports with the Clerk and prior to the final public hearing on the budget, a committee consisting of the Mayor, the Budget Officer, and the City Council members shall convene to review suggested changes to the recommended budget. [Amended by L.L. No. 5-1994, § 47]
K. Adoption of the budget. The City Council at a special meeting held after the final public hearing on or before the first day of December, or if that day falls on a Sunday, on or before the second day of December, shall by resolution adopt or amend and adopt the budget and submit the same to the Mayor for his/her approval...
From the City Council President:
From: Rodney Wiltshire [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Friday, November 20, 2015 3:31 PM
To: Cheryl.Christiansen; Adam.Sanzone; Anastasia Robertson; Andrew.Donovan; Bill.Chamberlain; Bill.Dunne; firstname.lastname@example.org; Chris.Wheland; Erin Sullivan-Teta; Gabrielle.Mahoney; email@example.com; George.Rogers; George.Vanbramer; Ian.Silverman; firstname.lastname@example.org; Joe Licarrdi; Joe.Mazzariello; John.Salka; John.Tedesco; Kelly Cramer Esq.; email@example.com; Lynn M. Kopka; Lou.Rosamilia; Marian.Drozd; Mike.Hayner; Monica.Kurzejeski; Peter.Ryan; Rhonda.Reed; Robert J. Doherty; Selena.Skiba; Sharon.Martin; Tom.Garrett; Warren.Mueller; Ken Zalewski
Subject: Re: meetings for 11-30-15
To all in the Administration,
The mayor and I spoke earlier today about the re-attempt to override the state’s tax cap and pass a budget that exceeds it.
I can only speak for myself, but as President, I will state that asking us to override the tax cap with the budget that has been presented is still not an option, and in order for us to even consider moving the agenda and the legislation, we expect to have a clear schedule of amendments by Monday with details of either cost savings, and or new qualified revenues that lower this tax increase dramatically.
Whatever cuts that you, as department heads, or administration staff need to make, need to be spelled out clearly; whether they include service cuts, staff, or other management decisions. Identify in as much detail as necessary what the changes are to staff, salaries, personnel if particular, and services or schedules as you would propose them to be made.
We as a council will not be charged with making these decisions or choices for you.
Please propose your plan that balances your essential services and staff with the needs of the taxpayers.
Again, these changes to the budget need to be clear, concise, and non-ambiguous.
This detail, and the overall tax increase, is a precursor to even considering the override.
Have a great weekend,
Wiltshire has yet to discover the beauty and grace of brevity. May we suggest the following:
"Please do our job without us and please make sure services remain intact and taxes as low as possible."
It is clear that Wiltshire wants to sabotage* any effort to avoid State involvement. A Friday afternoon e-mail demands that the administration not only do their job but the Council's as well, by Monday? The tax increase must be lowered dramatically? All of that just so an override might be considered.
The mayor has proposed his plan. The Council now counters with their own plan, or, more accurately, their amendments. That's the process. It occurred under Pattison and Tutunjian and for the last four years. We would recommend cutting Wiltshire out of the process but that presupposes he's involved with the process. Ignore him and work with Gordon or Robertson. Zalewski is just following orders and doesn't understand, by his own admission, the budget or budget process. Gordon can be reasoned with, Robertson's worth a shot.
So, why the sabotage? Rodney clearly dreams of escaping Elba and marching on Troy once again. This time, under the banner of fiscal responsibility. Watch for Team Troy. They will be back in a year. Thwarted ambition can be a very destructive force. Another reason Madden will need a political animal in City Hall. Someone who has the institutional knowledge as well as a keen political radar. We're sure Pattison can recommend someone.
* From the French, meaning sabotage