An amazing, and extremely suspicious, thing occurred at the 2014 Budget hearing Tuesday.
The entire administration of your fire department made several disconcerting efforts to keep you from finding out about the budget.
Each employee of the district was given personalized copies of the draft budget, each bearing their name as a watermark on every page.
Why? So the could keep track of who* leaked a copy to the public! Listen to the ‘explanation’ starting at about 3:20 in this video.
It has several other troubling aspects if you know what to listen for and pay attention.
Who got what and why?
Because the district took this unprecedented effort, the real question is were all copies the same?
Did the copy with Commissioner Gates’ name match the copy with Commissioner Freitas?
Was the copy the firefighter picked up the same as the copy the IT guy was given?
How about the copy on my chair? Does it match up with the CFO? Or was it missing pages? Were paragraphs changed? Are the numbers exactly the same as the rest?
Then there was the misdirection about when the 2013 amended budget was adopted.
Until Tuesday the district was secret about their current budget, only allowing the public to see the outdated October 2012 version.
But District records show that on April 23, 2013, there was a motion made, and unanimously passed, to adopt an amended 2013 budget.
And why is Commissioner Gates carrying and waving around a May 2013 budget everywhere he goes? Where the hell did that come from? Listen to his comments, which are starkly counter to the truth shown in the meeting minutes, in this video starting at 8:40
*If you want to read one version of the latest proposed budget draft (right? wrong? tainted?), I have uploaded what was on my chair here: 2014 Budget
So much for open and accountable government. Instead we see furtive actions that raise serious questions.