Mayor and council reach no agreement on 2010 budget

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Birmingham City Councilors vote again to delay passing a 2010 budget that is already two weeks overdue.

Councilors say they will now ask for an audit of city finances, because some of the numbers aren't adding up.

The main sticking point is 26 million dollars.

Mayor Larry Langford says that money is left over from last year, but councilors disagree.

"We need a budget, says city council president Carole Smitherman. "I have logged 100 hours working on a budget, and I want to see it finished."

City councilors and Mayor Langford have battled back and forth for more than three weeks, and councilors are hopeful an audit will help settle the situation.

"There's no problem with spending money in this city," says City Councilor Valerie Abbott, "We have far more needs than money. Certainly, if we find out the administration is correct and we misread things, we will be happy as clams, because we will have 26 million to spend."

Smitherman says she's concerned the system they are using to crunch the numbers may be part of the problem.

"It could be the machine. We need to know if we need to scrap all that and get a new system because its outdated and the software isn't working."

Smitherman says she is hopeful the city council will get more information on the audit next week, and pass the budget in the next two weeks.

In the meantime the city of Birmingham will continue to operate under the 2009 budget.