Jun 5 2021

Budget And Expenses get Ahead of Advisory Group

budget PUBLIC HEARING FY 2021-2022 Taxes

Budget Advisory committee to meet after the Council first considers the 2021- 22 budget and tax levies.  The Committee was formed following a major failing by the City when allowing the undergrounding project in upper Piedmont to go over budget by $2 million due to incorrect contracts, funding, and oversight.

The City has not been following the charge to the committee.  Charge example: “Provide a financial review of any new program commitments and funding sources in excess of $250,000 in any fiscal year.” 

On the June 7 Council Agenda the Council is asked to approve a $600,000+ contract for management of the Municipal Pool construction, yet there is no review by the BAFPC indicated in the staff report.

See May 2. 2021 article:    Housing Element Consulting Services $691,230

BAFPC charge

Although the City website states minutes are available, none have been publicly disseminated and there is no evidence minutes were approved by the Committee, as the minutes have never been found on any Committee agenda.

The Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee is one of the most vulnerable public bodies to a conflict of interest, yet the City Council does not require compliance with disclosure of assets per state conflict of interest laws. This is not to say there have been conflicts of interest, for none have manifested.


2 Responses to “Budget And Expenses get Ahead of Advisory Group”

  1. The Piedmont Civic Association correctly points out how opaque the workings of the Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee have been. The meetings are televised currently only because of a 100 year event, the pandemic. As all tax recommendations flow from this Committee, the public should be afforded the same access to meetings as the Recreation, Park and Planning Commissions once social distancing is no longer required.

  2. I attended the last BAFPC meeting and the contract was not discussed. The budget is on this Tuesday’s BAFPC agenda – perhaps the contract will be discussed then.

    BAFPC discussions are hugely consequential to city policies and spending yet the meetings are not recorded. That makes no sense. Post Covid, the city should maintain the Zoom casting of all city meetings – this capability provides much better transparency and participation than KCOM and formal meetings. I think there’s $350k in the budget for KCOM upgrades – hopefully maintaining Zoom meetings will be one of them. At the very least it has to be more cost effective than cable.

    Are committee members by law required to disclose? As a council member I remember going through disclosure training but I don’t recall if commission/committee members did.

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