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Council thinks rules are made to be broken

As you may have read by now, City Controller Alan Butkovitz has released an audit saying that City Council broke some rules when it paid consultants without entering into a formal contract agreement with them. Council didn't formally respond. In Catherine Lucey's story on the matter, Ellen Kaplan from the Committee of Seventy observes that this is a problem:

"My main concern is that Council has decided that no formal response to the proposal is necessary," said Kaplan. "Our concern is that the findings are going to be ignored and not taken seriously."

This is indeed vexing. Anthony Radwanski, Council's spokesman, explains Council's position to Lucey (namely, that the amounts were small). But what kind of position is that? The Controller just announced that Council broke rules regarding contracts and public disclosure. Does Council disagree with this assessment? Does it think the rules it broke are bad, and should be changed? Does it think the rules just don't apply to it? Or does it just not feel the need to think about rules at all?

The payments the Controller cites are small, but this is big-time arrogance.

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