Mayor Andy Berke is asking the City Council to spend $100,000 on a consulting firm to implement next year's budget, but some council members wonder why a third party is needed to perform one of the administration's primary responsibilities.

"I was a little surprised," Councilman Chip Henderson said earlier this week about the proposed contract to be discussed at Tuesday's council meeting. "It triggered some questions [such as] what was the need for having to bring them in? Why do we need to bring them in? And what was the process of bringing them in?"

The administration wants to hire the PFM Group to teach city departments how to budget for outcomes, which is the common private-sector practice of tying funding to performance. It's a reform that began in the current budget, the first after Berke's election, and was overseen by Chief Operating Officer Andrew Kean.

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