For a long time on November 12, the Esuchanko figures didn’t come up, as the councilmembers asked Goldstone and other officials about, often, minuscule matters. Then it was time to punish Aguirre for daring to have Esuchanko present disquieting numbers. Councilmembers Kevin Faulconer and Ben Hueso complained that the city attorney’s office was spending more than $1 million above budget. Hueso asked how any City entity could operate over its budget. “What are they getting around? How is this possible? How do we assure that we keep people on budget?” he asked. Then, dripping with piety, he added, “I’ve been making cuts every year. I’ve been very frugal in my office.”
Aguirre was not there at the time. He explained to me later that he had been running $100,000 a month over budget and was going to let some lawyers go to close the gap; now that he has lost the election, he will leave that to his successor, Jan Goldsmith.
The bigger question — far, far bigger — is what a small-minded council will do about the gap that Esuchanko exposed.