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Mayor Jerry Sanders’ 2008 budget proposal relies too heavily on strategies that have not been approved by the City Council, Independent Budget Analyst Andrea Tevlin said in a report released today.
Tevlin said she is supportive of the mayor’s effort to make city services more efficient through streamlining, but criticized Sanders for not providing enough information on the streamlining process, known technically as business process reengineering, and for tying those proposals to next year’s budget when it’s unclear if they will win the council’s approval.
As a whole, the IBA said Sanders is using land sales, BPR reports and the implementation of a program to free up hotel tax money as crutches to prop up his spending plan for the coming year, even though the council has not approved the ideas. Those strategies should be parsed from the budget until they are adopted, Tevlin said.
The mayor has claimed that his budget proposal, which includes hundreds of layoffs, will not impact service levels, although he says that there is no way to measure the services the city provides. Tevlin said she was “skeptical” of the seemingly contradictory statement, and said the mayor did have some information at his disposal to gauge services despite his claim.
The mayor’s budget factors in $7.6 million for the hotel tax program, $15.3 million for land sales and $49 million in BPR savings.
Here is a copy of the IBA’s analysis. Check back later for a full report.