Saturday, 2:15 PM
By John C. Drake, Globe Staff
The Boston City Council approved a $2.4 billion budget this afternoon, making only minor changes to the spending plan introduced two months ago by Mayor Thomas M. Menino.
The 11-to-2 vote came after a group of youths stood up in the council's chambers and symbolically turned their backs on the elected officials to protest what they said was inadequate funding for street workers to combat violence.
Councilor Charles Yancey voted against the budget because of the funding level for the street workers program. It marked the third year young people have criticized the council and Menino over the issue.
Councilor Sam Yoon voted against the budget because he said it lacked transparency from the Menino administration. Yoon also cast a lone vote against the School Department's budget for similar reasons.
"Our budget hides the information we need to ask the right questions," Yoon said. "A performance-based budget asks how much it costs to fill a pothole."
Ways and Means Committee Chairman Stephen Murphy defended the budget, highlighting increased funding for teen jobs and a process that includes hearings on each city department's proposed budget. The budgets take effect Tuesday.
The City Council also unanimously approved a $10 million emergency appropriation to the School Department for the current budget year to cover a shortfall that school officials said was driven by increased food and energy costs.
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