City Desk

Gray Miffed at Fenty Over Missing Budget Details

The rollout of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's budget proposal has not been without hiccups: Last-minute changes meant budget books had to be reprinted. The books didn't make it to the council until Monday, and fewer than usual arrived. And now D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray is miffed because a key part of the budget proposal remains MIA a week later.

Behold an election-year budget season.

That key part is the Budget Support Act, which is the package of legislation that makes all the necessary policy changes to "support" the budget request. It contains details on fee increases, tax modifications, changes to legislative initiatives, and, at least in past budgets, earmarks.

Today Gray dispatched a letter to Fenty saying, in essence: WTF dude?

"I am writing to you on an issue of basic government transparency, for which I have substantial concern with the actions of your administration," Gray writes. He points out that council staffers asked Fenty staffers for a copy, and that the Fenty staffers said that it would not be completed until next Monday.

"If the Budget Support Act is not completed," Gray writes, "how could the Chief Financial Officer have certified your budget submission?"

The legislation, he continues, "contains over $100 million in tax and fee increases which the Council and the public need to examine." (Note the use of "tax" increases—a challenge to Fenty's claim that his budgets contain no such thing.)

By law, the budget is due to the council on April 1.

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  • Five To Go

    Good, Mr. Gray kick Fenty's fake ass.

  • Truth Hurts

    "Behold an election year budget season" and the warp speed by which "one city's" letter to Fenty arrived in DeBonis' in box.

  • http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com Mike DeBonis

    You are a perceptive man, TH

  • Tious

    Nobody wants tax increases yet nobody wants ACTUAL cuts in spending either as people lose their jobs

    So tax increases are what we are left with and nobody wants to be the one doing that

  • http://rickmangus@aol.com Rick Mangus

    I'm MIFFED that these two crooks are still in office!

  • Truth Hurts

    DeBonis, did Nikita get this one before you again? Or did O.C.'s peeps simultaneously send it to both? If it was the latter, we might be seeing the real meaning of "we can do better".

  • Eldon

    When elephants fight, the the grass suffers. The righteous indignation espressed by Gray is merely political showmanship. Get real fellows!

  • proballdc

    "That key part is the Budget Support Act, which is the package of legislation that makes all the necessary policy changes to "support" the budget request. It contains details on fee increases, tax modifications, changes to legislative initiatives, and, at least in past budgets, earmarks."

    Why would the Mayor leave this out? It is mostly a summary of his budget. He, no any prior Mayor, has ever left this piece out. Unless there is something in the budget that cannot be legally justified.

  • Korrupt

    We all should be "miffed".

  • Wrack

    The BSA is not at all a "summary of the budget." It contains specific revisions to law, affecting fines, fees, and the legal rights of everyone in the District. Without the BSA, the budget books are near-useless. The numbers in the books rely on the legal changes that would be made by the BSA.

    Without the BSA, there's no way to tell which special purpose revenue funds are getting stripped out to pay for programs that are normally paid for by general tax dollars.

  • Manor

    Ummm, any chance they can share the documents electronically? Or can the DC budget only be printed on Martin Luther's press or something like that? Further, is it somehow weirdly possibly that Gandhi was able to, through sheer force of will and use of gravity-bent-sunlight, access an electronic copy of the document rather than waiting for the printed version????

    I bet these folks actually wait around for phone books to. Need to save money? Perhaps STOP PRINTING SHIT!

  • Manor

    To quote Mugatu: I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!

  • http://deleted candycane1

    Turned over the baseball tickets and held the BSA. Fenty is one childish dipstick.

  • Anonymous

    "He is if I let him."

    Fenty response when a reporter asked whether someone who is not a city employee* was allowed to serve as his driver.

    *MD resident Keith Lomax who has been gifted with over $11 million in questionable contracts since Fenty took office.

  • LOL

    so is this like when I used to turn in math homework with only the answers and the teacher would write "show your work" and not give me credit?

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