We see value in the idea of developing a standing Budget Committee of sorts, which would give committee members a better sense of the city's financial needs and wants and reduce the rush to judgment that often accompanies the final weeks of budget preparation for municipal governments everywhere.
Following the Budget Committee's approval of the city's nearly $286 million two-year budget, committee Co-Chair Garrett Furuichi requested that the committee members meet quarterly so they could be better prepared for the next two-year budget.
That suggestion was met coolly by city officials, who said that was not in Furuichi's purview to even make the request. He was informed an ad hoc committee could be established by the mayor, but no action was taken in Monday's meeting.
The Budget Committee and other city leaders have been somewhat famously at odds this year. The committee was initially rebuffed when it asked for more information on employees' salaries and benefits and only after it was pointed out those are public records were they provided. Numerous questions and concerns were raised about a host of budget items, leading to some testy exchanges.
In the end, a budget was approved and forwarded to the council, which will take final action. But in the midst of that, Furuichi's request was shut down.
We're having trouble seeing why providing more information to the people responsible for assembling a $286 million budget is a problem. To the contrary, a better informed Budget Committee will produce a better budget.