September 7, 2009
1 City Hall Plaza
I appreciate the fact that you said on television the other night that you liked me, but that I don’t understand finance. I also appreciate your new interest in transparency, which as you know is one of my primary concerns. I appreciate the fact that you have assigned my own City Hall attorney to make all my Freedom of Information Act requests through.
I have a couple of suggestions and a question for you.
1) Someone emailed me an alert that you had not reimbursed the City for the political use of your City owned SUV. As you are probably aware, the office of Campaign and Political Finance has outlined that elected officials like you are allowed to use City owned vehicles to go to campaign events as long as you keep track of the usage and reimburse the taxpayers for that usage. We could be wrong, but it appears that you have never made such reimbursements. I’d rather not make a complaint to the OCPF over this minor issue, so please check your records and act accordingly. We could be wrong, we just couldn’t find any record of payments.
2) As you know I have been requesting the end of month cash balances from you so we can see how the City finances are coming along. At first you refused, but after the Secretary of State’s office intervened your attorney has been very forthcoming with the numbers, other than the delay during the last few months of the budget period when no figures were available showing how the City had $120 million more in the bank in June 2009 than in January 2009. A suggestion: put these figures on the City website so the citizens can see how much money we have. It would be transparent and it would free up the time of your valuable attorney.
3) Could you explain to me why we have $97 million dollars more in the bank from June 2008 until June 2009 but you proposed cutting the school book budget from $3 million dollars to $2 million. Maybe you can explain it in layman terms to me since I don’t understand finance as well as you.
Thank you for your time. Maybe you can answer when I see you on Thursday.