MADISON, Wis. -

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin blasted members of the City Council Friday afternoon, calling three of them "fiscally inept" and accused them of blaming city staff for the council's poor budgeting.

The mayor made the remarks at a news conference with one of the alders he was criticizing, District 19 Alder Mark Clear, sitting in the room.

Soglin said three alders-- Clear, Shiva Bidar-Sielaff (District 5) and Maurice Cheeks (District 10)-- asked questions at a Board of Estimates meeting this week about a delay in building the Midtown police station, an issue that has been a source of friction between the mayor and City Council previously.

Soglin said the delay is in part because of the alders' bad budgeting, and singled out Clear, whose district would be the site of the proposed station on Mineral Point Road.

"We've discussed repeatedly his inability to control himself in terms of loading up the barrel in terms of borrowing. There's nothing left to discuss. We've got to hear from the public on this. Maybe his constituents ought to have the discussion with him, not me," Soglin said.

Clear said Soglin's remarks were a "not very subtle political threat."

"Apparently the mayor thinks the only way he can get his way is to get certain council members out of his way, and so I don't think that's going to be effective and I don't think it's a good way to run our city," Clear said.

Alders were told last week that the police station is more than a year behind schedule, and is not expected so see construction start until late next year, Clear said.

Clear said he's heard repeatedly from constituents and neighborhood groups that the Midtown station is a priority and needs to get done.

"The public has made it very clear that they want the station to move forward," Clear said.

A memo from the city's engineering department that Soglin released Friday blamed the design work that had to be done on the new fire station as well as an extension of a designer's contract multiple times for the delay.