The normally adversarial relationship between Mayor Jerry Sanders’ office and Independent Budget Analyst Andrea Tevlin has become more intense under the glare of the budget crisis.
Tevlin in recent days has complained that the administration provided scant justification for the package of cuts it proposed to close a $43 million midyear budget gap. In her review of Sanders’ proposal, Tevlin said the administration provided “inconsistent and unclear information” to back up the cuts, which include shuttering libraries and recreation centers citywide.
Tevlin countered Sanders’ proposed cuts with her own suggestions, including reduced library hours, pay cuts for non-union employees and mandatory furloughs for all employees.
Today, Chief Operating Officer Jay Goldstone said Tevlin’s suggestions were for the most part superficial and didn’t address the difficult choices that need to be made for the long term.
“There is a general frustration that there wasn’t more thought put into her suggestions,” Goldstone said. “It would appear that she is trying to do everything to avoid tough decisions.”
He added that Tevlin, who reports to City Council, seems to be “protecting her bosses instead of being truly independent” by not suggesting more detailed cuts that might disproportionately affect individual City Council districts.
Tevlin said Goldstone’s comments were “unfortunate” and a “shame.” She said she made her suggestions in the spirit of a public dialogue.
“I am very familiar with hard cuts, I have done it for years and years,” she said, adding that “everyone has a right to make a suggestion.”