Just When You Thought Budget Season Was Ending
Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's legislative team and the D.C. Council budget team are trading accusations over the recently approved 2010 budget.
Bridget R. Davis, director of the Office of Policy and Legislative Affairs, fired off a memo yesterday to Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) asking why the mayor's office still had not received a formal version of the budget approved by the Council last month.
Davis then questioned why the Council had made "non-technical' changes to the budget after it was approved.
"On behalf of the executive, I request a list of all such changes and the legal authority under which each change was made," Davis wrote.
Eric Goulet, the Council's budget director, issued a biting response to Davis this afternoon. In the letter, Goulet confirms he personally visited with Davis this morning to follow up on her letter to Gray.
"This came as a considerable surprise given the care we take to ensure that only technical changes are made to the budget following the Council's vote," Goulet wrote. "You provided no explanation of the basis of your accusation, so I decided to seek an explanation face-to-face from you in your office this morning. I asked you to tell me what changes you had heard were made that were not technical, and you replied, 'I can't give any examples, but I want to know what they are'."
Davis was not immediately available for comment.
Goulet continued, "I know you are still relatively new in your current position, and that this is your first budget cycle in this role. In the past, when (the director), had a question on the budget, she would call, e-mail, or meet with me in person to discuss the issue...You sending a letter directly to Chairman Gray was both inappropriate and unnecessary."
Goulet concedes its "taken five days longer' to prepare the budget for enrollment this year. He blamed a delay in getting some information from the administration and uncertainty this spring over how much money the city would receive from President Obama's spending plan. But Goulet said Fenty should have the enrolled budget by later today or tomorrow morning.
June 4, 2009; 2:51 PM ET
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