A budget is a plan in numbers. So true and so ripe with possibilities for contention.
Especially when the plan itself hasn't been clearly laid out, overtly stated, reached through consensus.
In cases like those, the fighting is only marginally about the dollars. It's about control, direction, priorities, and vision.
And sometimes, competing visions.
How much should we be increasing the line for social workers? Housing advocates? Marketing materials? Clerical support?
Those may seem like apples and oranges, but each carries within it a core sense of what's most important.
And in an era of shrunken resources, push will come to shove, without a master plan.