I don't know what's worse: That Dallas City Council member David Neumann managed to overspend his office’s budget by $8,000 at a time when the city faces a $100 million deficit --- or that when the Dallas Morning News asked whether he will pay it back, Neumann said “flatly that he would not.”
Well, he thought better of it -- or at least remembered he's up for election in May. Today, the Dallas Morning News' excellent City Hall blog reports that Neumann has decided to reimburse the city for his extravagant ways.
"I want to do the right thing," he told the paper. "I want to be a stand up guy."
Well, we have a hard time believing he would have done the right thing had the paper not called him out for busting his budget.
Of the council’s 14 members, along with the mayor, Neumann was the only one to go over budget. And what great timing too. As the city deliberates on cutting vital city services, Neumann is not shopping from the "everything must go" bin at Circuit City.
From the DMN:
"So, at a time when city departments from police to code compliance are being told to watch every penny, City Hall will be left to pick up Neumann's tab for items that included a $600 printer and a $249 subscription to the Wall Street Journal."
He must be skipping the stories on personal finance.
Initially, Neumann approached fellow council members and asked them to help pay his deficit. They wisely told him to put a sock in it. And a few of them appropriately mocked his accounting skills:
"It's ridiculous," council member Ron Natinsky told the paper. "We're all aware of the amount of money we're given to run our offices."
Now Neumann is too.
Photo of a calculator by flickr user Afroswede, used via a Creative Commons license.