Council chief Clarke promises budget transparency, but won't say how

Posted: March 15, 2012

Apparently immune to irony, new City Council President Darrell L. Clarke on Wednesday promised more transparency in Council's budget and then would not say how it would happen.

Clarke, like Council presidents before him, rejects the idea of Council's holding a hearing on its own budget.

The question comes up during every budget cycle: Why does Council take nearly two months to ask detailed questions about the budgets of city departments and agencies such as the Mayor's Office, Managing Director's Office, Police and Fire Departments, the Sheriff's Office, and the First Judicial District, but never answers questions about how Council's own budget?

Council's budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1 is $15 million, about the same as the current year's. Other city agencies spend an additional $7 million per year to support Council.

"In all honesty, I'm not going to let individuals who have a particular interest about this turn City Council's process into a clown show," said Clarke, who said information about Council's budget was available to the public for the asking.

Asked when he would reveal his effort at transparency in the Council budget, Clarke replied: "When I tell you. You'll see there will be an enhanced process as it relates to Council's information on its budget."


Contact Chris Brennan at 215-854-5973 or brennac@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @ChrisBrennanDN. Read his blog, "PhillyClout," at www.phillyclout.com.

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