SLASHING the proposed P2 million outlay for the planned show band and chorale group of the Cebu City Government must have dismayed Mayor Michael Rama.

Mike wants the musical group organized for employees "to relax, sing, and enjoy." The P1M approved by the Council may fund for, what, a barangay rondalla? Not exactly what's in the mind of the mayor to whom a full band can give justice to "The Way You Look Tonight" and his other favorite songs.

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Mike thinks first about the employees' well-being but what about his own? His passion for singing may as well be shouted from City Hall rooftops. He needs little prodding to belt out a song and always carries a minus-one CD at all functions.

I can swear that he sings much better than President Noynoy (who, music critics say, should confine his vocal exercises to the bathroom). And Mike plays a mean conga too.

Imagine how a City Hall band can, ah, showcase his talent.

The council is cutting down not just money but a chunk of the mayor's dream.

Unnerving

But that's not what must trouble Mike regarding the council "assault" on his P221M supplemental budget.

The council had the nerve to reduce the band item by 50 percent, insert P24M to pay for buses given to barangays as part of election freebies, delete P15M for a dredging machine, and cut by P4M each outlay for P30M fuel and lubricants and P20M for garbage trucks. And without telling him before the session. How unnerving. That was a "shock and awe" thing we didn't find in PNoy's Sona.

Here's the council messing up with Mike. Would it have dared had the mayor been BOPK chief Tomas Osmeña?

(paseares@yahoo.com)