The first of what are supposed to be periodic budget reviews now being conducted by the Mayor’s Office has been released, and it reports that Councilman Jim Madaffer is 5 percent over budget for the first two periods of fiscal year 2007.

The report says it is not a “significant variance,” and it was caused by a change in staffing experienced by Madaffer’s office in recent months. That includes paying out earned annual leave “for terminating employees.”

You might remember Madaffer’s budget problems from fiscal year 2006. He finished the year 21 percent over budget after adding a new position for a new redevelopment area in his district. He later found out he couldn’t use redevelopment funds to fill the position, and had to add the position to his own office budget.

The person who filled that position, Colleen Windsor, former press secretary to former Mayor Dick Murphy, later resigned. A new mom, she said she wanted to spend time with her new kid and, also, she said she didn’t like the fact that her office mates would have to take sizable pay cuts to keep her onboard.

After that, one Madaffer aide left for a position in the Mayor’s Office. Another part-time aide, Don Giaquinto, lost his position days after it was reported that he accompanied an aide of Chula Vista Mayor Steve Padilla to spy on the yacht party of the mayor’s opponent.

The new budget report says the costs incurred this year by Madaffer’s office are “non-recurring” and that the “department is trending at budget.”

Read the whole report here.

ANDREW DONOHUE

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