Special deliberations on Mayor Jerry Sanders’ emergency budget cut package began this afternoon with City Council members taking aim at outgoing City Attorney Mike Aguirre, who has gone $1.8 million over budget in the current fiscal year. Most of Aguirre’s excess spending has come in the form of salaries for positions that were not budgeted for.

Weeks ago, Sanders asked all city department heads to submit budget cut proposals totaling 10 percent of their overall budget. Aguirre did not submit a proposal for cuts, nor has he offered a plan for reducing the amount his office is over budget.

Councilman Ben Hueso wondered how Aguirre could have gone over budget during a period when departments throughout City Hall have been forced to cut back.

Because the city attorney’s office is an “independent office,” replied Deputy City Attorney Larry Tomanek.

“Independent of what — the rules?” Hueso asked.

DAVID WASHBURN

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