Mayor will give $10 to anyone who finds misspent taxpayer money

Mayor will give $10 to anyone who finds misspent taxpayer money

PORTLAND, Ore. - Mayor Charlie Hales tweeted a challenge to anyone who'll accept it.

His tweet: "In response to pet project accusations: If you can find misspent money in my budgets, I'll show up on your doorstep with $10 & a TV reporter."

Hales was upset after being criticized for the city's street fee plan.

The budget for the city of Portland is nearly 1,000 pages.

It contains endless charts, graphs and tables explaining how each of the city's bureaus and offices split more than $3 billion total in taxpayer money.

How can you make sense of something so complicated that the first chapter of the budget is simply a user's guide?

We took all 1,000 pages to the CEO of a small business with experience managing millions of dollars.

Dave Yudkin has run Hotlips Pizza for 30 years.

He oversees 135 employees and $7 million in sales.

"The budget is everything," he said, although even he can't even begin to identify wasted money, pet projects or misspent taxpayer dollars from the city's budget.

The city's budget is more of a summary than a list of individual expenses or bills, he said, which may reveal wasted or misspent money.

"It doesn't go down to detail to specific projects," said Yudkin. "This is a summary."

The mayor's spokesman, Dana Haynes, said challenges will be reviewed by the independent city attorney and budget office.