Minneapolis mayor sued over budget delay

Officials hold news conference after explosion
Minneapolis mayor Betsy Hodges at a news conference several hours after an explosion at Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis.
Caroline Yang for MPR News

A city budget official is suing Mayor Betsy Hodges over her delayed release of next year's tax and spending plan.

Carol Becker, one of two elected members of the Minneapolis Board of Estimate and Taxation, said Hodges' decision to release the budget September 12 doesn't give the public enough time to examine the inch-thick document before a hearing the next day.

Hodges provided an outline of her plan this week, but she said two major public safety incidents delayed preparation of the full budget. In a statement Tuesday, Hodges said she also wanted Medaria Arradondo, now chief, to provide ideas on Minneapolis Police Department spending.

Regardless, Becker said the mayor still missed the city charter's deadline of August 15.

"A budget is the most important policy document that any government passes. It is an expression of our values. It is an expression of what we're going to do. It's a commitment between the city and the citizens," Becker said.

Hodges is calling for a 5.5 percent property tax increase next year, and has said her spending plan contains no surprises.

When asked for comment on Becker's filing, the mayor's office referred back to Hodges' statement from earlier in the week.