A city ordinance provides that “no money shall be spent for any purpose without the prior approval of the city council.” In approving the budget for the year, the council had authorized spending $ 1,300,000 for road maintenance. Late in the year, after the city had spent virtually the entire $ 1,300,000, a major storm washed out portions of several roads leading to the elementary school. The school was inaccessible, and the mayor wanted to enter into an emergency contract to repair the roads. City engineers estimated that the cost of the repairs would be about $ 350,000. If the city entered into such a contract, the total amount spent on road maintenance for the year would be greater than the amount authorized. Recognizing the need for prompt action, the mayor immediately entered into the contract without seeking prior city council approval. Comment on the legal, financial, and accounting systems implications of this scenario.
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