After over 100 people testified last night, and the council took its last break of the evening, Neil Albert, the City Administrator, and Gordon McDonald, the Deputy CFO took the stand to discuss the situation that the city is in regarding the $188M budget gap for FY2011. To the frustration of the Council, McDonald and the 20 members of the OCFO staff in the room were unable to quickly and cogently sum up the changes that the OCFO had recommended.
Questions that went unanswered without significant delay included, “How many people in the OCFO were decreased in this budget?” and “What does it cost us to finance these transactions?” As the hearing went on, the council grew more and more frustrated with the absence of answers, and more importantly, the absence of the CFO himself. When asked as to the location of the CFO, McDonald replied that Mr. Gandhi had an engagement that he could not break due to the hastily scheduled hearing.
This might just be me, but if my job was having a meeting in my area of responsibility that required a deep and clear understanding of the subject at hand, I might try and rejuggle my life to be there. Short of the wedding of an immediate offspring, I can’t think of what could possibly had such a hold over Gandhi. The council was incredulous, as well. Chair-Elect Kwame Brown lit into several staffers when they smiled and said they didn’t have the numbers, suggesting that they might want to be cleaning out their cubicles. Of course, I suspect that many of them have already done so, not intending to return under the new administration, but last night’s performance in front of the council was absolutely shameful.