Tallahassee Reports has learned that Mayor Andrew Gillum is seeking a 21% increase in the Mayor’s office budget in 2016.The increase would be funded through a portion of the proposed property tax increase.
A review of the budget shows that in 2015 the Mayor’s office, when you remove the City’s lobbying contract which is a pass through, was allocated $392,802 .
In 2016 the Mayor’s office budget is set to be $476,799, a 21% increase (equal to approximately $84,000) over the 2015 level.
For comparison purposes, the City’s police department budget will increase 5.8% in 2016.
How about the offices for the other elected officials?
The budget shows that there were minor changes, less than 1%, in the other four offices of elected officials when 2016 levels were compared to approved budget levels in 2015.
Why a 21% increase in the Mayor’s office budget?
Commissioner Scott Maddox asked about the increase at the budget workshop. But Mayor Gillum, sitting next to Commissioner Maddox, and City staff did not have an answer.
TR asked for the information weeks ago and it appears the City’s budget department did not have access to the line item expenditures in the Mayor’s office.
The budget office reply to TR indicated that the Mayor’s office was busy with the budget workshop and the request would have to wait.
This brings up another question – why did the Mayor’s office not submit a line item budget to the City’s budget department for review?