Councilwoman Donna Frye urged her colleagues today to stick to their Feb. 5 plan requiring Mayor Jerry Sanders to seek the council’s approval of any mid-year budgets cuts, saying that the compromise proposal the mayor brokered with two councilmen last week was “not a serious reform measure.”

The version of the ordinance that Frye champions would force Sanders to ask the council for the ability to reorganize or cut any department if the move would “materially and substantially” impact the levels of service the city provides. The compromise that Sanders, Council President Scott Peters and Councilman Tony Young rolled out last week would allow the mayor to cut up to $4 million or 10 percent of any department’s budget — whichever is less — without the council’s permission.

The City Council is slated today to decide on finalizing the version Frye and four of her colleagues backed last month, but supporters of the compromise will seek a delay to March 19 in order to allow their rendition of the law to compete for council votes.

At a press conference this afternoon, Frye said the version she supports would have provided the City Council with a say over the City Auditor & Comptroller’s Office’s decision to sacrifice its internal auditing duties in order to work on the long-outstanding 2003 financial statement audit by KPMG. The compromise version would have allowed the transfer of employees within the department without council oversight, despite its impact on a crucial city function, she said.

EVAN McLAUGHLIN

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