Somewhere in the early ’90s, legendary Jerusalem mayor Teddy Kollek showed up at the plaza facing the Knesset and installed his desk there in protest at what he considered the lack of government attention to the city’s special needs. The media was of course invited to cover the story, and Kollek roared into their microphones.Within a couple of hours, the required funds were miraculously found and transferred to the city’s coffers.That was Teddy’s particular way dragging the issue into the public space – to deal with the never-ending saga of government evasiveness in seriously facing the special needs of the capital, in terms of budget and more.Almost 30 years later, another mayor has tried a similar approach – but so far with no visible success.Last week, Mayor Nir Barkat brought city council members, municipality employees and representatives of the city’s business owners association in front of the Treasury Ministry to protest what he considers the “unfair budget cuts” of Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon. But according to some high-ranking officials at the municipality, at least for now, these steps have only worsened the situation. As one of them put it, “Now it’s open war between the mayor and the minister, and there is no doubt who is mightier.”The city council is about to approve Jerusalem’s budget for next year, and all parties involved agree that the situation is sensitive.Businesses, particularly in the city center, are experiencing a drop of 60 to 70 percent in their income; security for residents requires much more investment: for guards at educational institutions, inside the neighborhoods and everywhere else. No one can forecast when this is going to end, if at all. Visitors from the rest of the country and from abroad are canceling their trips, or at least postponing them.The burden is heavy on all fronts – business, culture, tourism – and the impact on the capital’s economy is raising serious concern.Having received a “no” from Kahlon’s office to his request for additional funding – NIS 400 million – Barkat has not only fumed at the refusal, but has also felt the closest thing to betrayal among what he considered his most natural allies. After all, Kahlon’s brother, Kobi Kahlon, is not only Barkat’s close friend, but was until two weeks ago his deputy mayor. Furthermore, two members of Kahlon’s Kulanu Party also came from Safra Square – MKs Rachel Azaria and Roy Folkman – and the two seemed to be on a mission to advance Jerusalem’s interests within the government.“Barkat is absolutely right,” explained a senior official at city hall to The Jerusalem Post last week. “The attitude of the Treasury towards Jerusalem’s needs is no less than a scandal, but I’m not sure that the protest actions – involving municipality employees, hundreds of posters across the city openly blaming the minister and the bellicose declarations of the mayor – are the best answer to this situation.”In accordance with the old cliché, misfortune never comes singly. While he was still trying to evaluate the situation on the ground after last week’s protest, a new front opened for the mayor. This time it came from the Knesset. MK David Amsalem, a Likud pillar who until recently was a municipality employee and today heads the Interior Committee, is not, to put it mildly, a fan of Barkat. He openly opposed him while still at Safra Square, and now that he is at the Knesset, things do not seem to have calmed down.Last week Amsalem sent an official query to Barkat about the use (hinting at misuse) of budgets allocated last year to the city. He asked why extensive (and expensive) renovations were conducted at the office of the CEO of the municipality, why there has been an extensive addition of employees at the mayor’s office and who approved the use of that special additional budget for these steps.The municipality’s request from the government stands at NIS 400m. This is not a huge sum, considering that Jerusalem is still recovering from the damage caused by last year’s Operation Protective Edge; that is now coping with this wave of violence; and above all, that we’re talking about our nation’s capital.Not approving this request is unacceptable for the city’s residents, most of whom are not rich, who bear the brunt of the problems caused by the present situation. The question remains: Are the best and most clever ways to solve the problem being employed here – or are we witnessing yet another fight between egos, to be borne mostly on the backs of the residents?