Though Council President Doug Shields apologized during Monday's council meeting for his behavior the previous week, Councilman Jim Motznik still believes his colleague deserves punishment. Shields had publicly berated Personnel Director Barbara Trant for what Shields called "a pack of lies". In my Channel 4 Action News report, you'll see Councilman Motznik's own notable occasions of lashing out at what he considered a lack of truthfulness.
In the compromise worked out by some members of council with the mayor's office, most of the money for the gender and racial bias study will actually come from a budget reserve of City Council's unspent funds from years' past. The rest of the city money does not come from the corresponding internal budget of mayor's office, but from general city funds instead. The balance of the funding comes from the Women and Girls Foundation.
The compromise draws down from the amount of unencumbered money that council has available for other independent actions, such as hiring its own attorney. Councilman Peduto noted with some resignation that a significant amount of the unspent council money came from his own office's cost savings over the years. He complained that he'd cut back on his spending with the intent that the funds go toward reducing the city's debt. Peduto also bemoaned that he wasn't consulted by his colleagues about their deal to spend the money. As he spoke, several other council members silently stared in another direction, appearing to avoid eye contact.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008