Will City Council members keep their promises to cut their budgets?
In November, I reported that City Council had pledged $148,486 toward closing the city’s record budget deficit. But when the budget passed last week, the council’s contribution was just $25,000.
Yesterday, I wrote that Mayor Jerry Sanders’ office said it received a formal offer only for the $25,000 from City Council, so that’s what the mayor took.
Individual council offices told me in November they would reduce their expenses by making every district’s budget the same. This year, Councilmembers Sherri Lightner, Kevin Faulconer and Tony Young all have lower budgets than everyone else. Their budgets are $939,500. Councilman Todd Gloria’s budget is $966,986 and the other offices have budgets of $971,500. No one has broken down 2011 numbers for me yet, though the budgets will all go up because of increases in pension and other retirement payments.
I contacted Council President Ben Hueso yesterday and his spokeswoman told me that Hueso would keep his pledge and cut $32,000.
This morning I e-mailed the offices of Councilmembers Todd Gloria, Carl DeMaio and Marti Emerald to ask if they would also reduce their budgets as they said in November. Also, I wrote Councilwoman Donna Frye’s office. Her budget would need to be reduced to line up with the lower standard, but her office told me in November she hadn’t decided if she would make any cuts.
So far Gloria’s office has responded, saying that he too would reduce his budget to the lower level — that means he’ll have to cut about $27,000.
I’ll update this post once I hear from the other offices.
— LIAM DILLON