Lichtig decides to open budget meeting to public

July 16, 2010

City Manager Katie Lichtig

San Luis Obispo City Manager Katie Lichtig has retreated from earlier statements and will now allow the public and media to attend meetings of a newly formed budget task force advisory group. [Tribune]

Lichtig, on the job for a little more than six months, recently announced the formation of a 32-member Financial Stability Task Force to help provide direction as city officials wrestle with a multi-million dollar budget deficit.

After telling New Times that they couldn’t have a reporter at the meetings, Lichtig provoked the ire of San Luis Obispo police and firefighter union officials who accused the city manager of creating an elitist group, out of touch with ordinary citizens. The union leaders declined to participate further in the twice-monthly meetings.

“After discussing this issue with the Task Force yesterday, the meetings will from now on be open to the public and press. I am hopeful that this change will eliminate an unnecessary distraction and refocus the Task Force on the important work of thinking creatively and constructively about our future financial sustainability,” Lichtig wrote in an email sent out on Friday.

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Well thank you for waking up. I should think that for the money this person is paid she would be better at “damage control”. And this has NOTHING to do with the unions, this is about OPEN government.