Brickfield, LaSala spar over budget release timing
It certainly wasn't Ali-Frazier. But Pinellas County Commissioner Neil Brickfield chided County Administrator Bob LaSala over how LaSala released the budget Tuesday.
LaSala kept it under wraps until mid-day Thursday, leaving Brickfield with questions over budget stabilization money. He noted he could have gotten answers earlier if he had received (but luckily found some info on the Bay Buzz, he said). Then he said he spoke with counterparts in Pasco and Hillsborough who receive proposed budgets the week earlier.
It leaves Brickfield questioning how the $20 million budget stabilization fund works. He asked the board to set a policy on it because it "keeps growing," he said.
Commissioner Ken Welch, who had questions of his own about revised projections on tax revenue, gently piled on. While he acknowledged LaSala got to his answer, Welch said, "if I had it earlier, there are probably some questions I'm asking that I wouldn't have asked."
LaSala said if he'd release the budget earlier the board would have read it in the newspaper, and allow others to intepret it without "the cohesion and macro-picture of the budget."
-- David DeCamp, Times staff writer