"You're absolutely right," Carcetti tells a conference room full of mucky-mucks. Cute cut, there, show. He's in a budget meeting with Bond, Naresse Campbell, Norman, Gerry, and a bunch of other people we haven't seen before, and is saying that lowering crime will be the key to attracting business and jobs to the city. Bond says he hates to start their relationship with his hand out, but that his understanding is that there are two federal grants to his office that will expire this year. A guy on the other side of the table -- he doesn't get a name, but I assume he's the comptroller -- confirms that; the grants will "evaporate," and Bond will lose his budget for twelve prosecutors. Fuck, that's a lot. Bond says he was hoping that cost could be absorbed out of the general fund, "maybe even throw in a little bit more, make it competitive with the PD and Attorney General's jobs." Comptroller says that this would be the time to do it, since they're "over the revenue expected for this point in the fiscal year." Carcetti seizes on this, asking how much extra revenue they have, since he wants to give a big bump in police salaries, and an extra $50,000 for the commissioner. Campbell looks up sharply at this, as the Comptroller says they're looking at a one-shot surplus of $20 million, "but that's rainy-day money for more than crime." He adds that he's heard schools are running at a deficit.
Before they can get derailed with all the grim, depressing talk of failing schools, Campbell leaps in, pointedly asking, "Excuse me, did you say a fifty-thousand bump for Ervin Burrell?" "Not for Burrell per se," says Carcetti, ill-advisedly. "Oh, for the next police commissioner, then," says Campbell. "Looking ahead, it makes sense," says Carcetti. Campbell barely lets him finish his sentence before announcing that firing Burrell would piss off a bunch of her constituents, "not to mention the ministers." She looks over at the budget chair, threatening that he would have a difficult time allowing a higher salary to be approved: "In fact, I can guarantee if that proposal's in the budget -- your first, for the record -- the bill won't come out of committee intact." Carcetti backpedals madly, saying that in the event that Burrell were to leave, they'd want to bump the salary for the position to attract the best candidates -- particularly the best African-American candidates from across the country. "With three years left in his term, why would he leave?" asks Campbell disingenuously. Carcetti gives her a one-shoulder shrug, and Campbell sort of snorts, and then decides to school Carcetti in front of his whole Cabinet: "Councilman, what may not have been obvious to you on the Public Safety Subcommittee is that the budget process is a carefully orchestrated ballet -- a co-operative effort between the branches of government." "Well, Madam President," Carcetti shoots back, "the nuances of that co-operative effort are beginning to come into focus for me." He gives her a look of simmering hate barely resting on the surface of bubbling lust, and she gives him back a flirtatious half-lidded smile, and then Norman starts fake-laughing to break the tension, and everyone else joins in with relief.