Talk of the tone of the rhetoric surrounding the budget continued Friday evening, as City Treasurer Kathleen Palm Devine called the words of a spokeswoman for Mayor Eddie A. Perez "completely inappropriate."
"I'm just so offended," Palm Devine said of comments made in a press release by Perez spokeswoman Sarah Barr. "She's a city employee on city time using city resources and her comment is completely partisan. I'm an elected official just as the mayor is and I would never permit anyone on my staff to take a political position on city time."
Palm Devine was referring to comments Barr made in a press release earlier Friday.
"It is unfortunate that Councilmen Ritter, Kennedy and Deutsch are leading the charge to block passage of the budget and force the implementation of a 16-mill increase in property taxes," Barr said in the press release. "This is something our residents and business can't afford and it's the wrong kind of leadership for our city."
Asked to comment on Palm Devine's reaction, Barr said this:
"I look forward to the council working together ... All 3 parties.... And passing this budget."
Palm Devine, independently elected, said she thought Barr's job was to inform the public of the city's business.
"It's not to opine on which council people are appropriately showing leadership or not showing leadership," Palm Devine said. "That is not what the taxpayers are funding that position for, if indeed that position is even needed."