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The Mayor’s Office followed up to clarify the number of press/communications people working there.

The city’s Independent Budget Analyst recommends that the mayor classify 12 employees as “communications” people. That, of course, would seem like an excessively big staff to handle local journalists as it doesn’t include the press people who work for the fire and police departments and other areas.

Kevin Klein, a spokesman for the mayor, sent over this corrected version of the mayor’s budget that was sent to the City Council Thursday.

He said that the mayor’s media relations staff is comprised of six people. Another four people work under a designation “boards and commissions.”

The IBA’s staff member, Angela Means, said she knew for a fact that there was only one employee under “boards and commissions.” But the Mayor’s Office said there are, indeed, three more people in that division — all of whom report to the head of that department, Aundeen Hugg.

Hugg’s three staff members perform outreach work, Klein said, by visiting and consulting with community groups around town.

They are most definitely not media relations people, he said.

Klein also said that Kris Michell, a top aide to the mayor, and her assistant have been reclassified in the new budget as employees of the “policy” section of the Mayor’s Office. Also, the office manager moved into the policy section. That’s why the policy budget grew from last year.

A misunderstanding and error in the proposed budget caused the confusion with the city’s independent budget analyst, Klein said.

SCOTT LEWIS

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