City Council shirking responsibility, critics say - The Boston Globe

City Council shirking responsibility, critics say - The Boston Globe
Usually in May, the Boston City Council's Iannella Chamber is abuzz with activity. It is budget season, the time of year when the city's legislative body gets to exercise one of its only significant powers -- to influence the way the city spends its money. City councilors hold hearings at which they pore over the budget's details, and the Ways and Means Committee publicly delves into the mayor's proposals for each city agency.

But this year, the City Council has decided to do away with two-thirds of its usual hearings, electing to ignore the spending plans for 36 departments, including the mayor's office and the City Council. Some councilors say the change will streamline the process, focusing attention only on the 19 largest and most important budgets. But others, along with some citizens' groups, say the council is shirking its responsibility and cutting back the public's chance to shape city spending before the budget is set in stone.

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