FLINT (WJRT) - (06/13/18) - Flint City Council failed to override the mayor's veto of their proposed budget.
The vote was 5-3, falling short of the six votes needed to override the veto.
Councilman Maurice Davis, Finance Committee Chairman Eric Mays, Councilwoman Jerri Winfrey-Carter and Council President Herbert Winfrey voted to let Mayor Karen Weaver's veto stand.
Councilwomen Eva Worthing, Kate Fields and Monica Galloway voted to override the mayor's veto. Worthing said the mayor has portrayed this dispute unfairly.
"It was an increase across the board and we're still being chastised as council for trying to get staff," Worthing said.
Chief Financial Officer Hughey Newsome said some of the money would have come from the mayor's budget.
"We had five staff taken away by the emergency financial manager. We wanted to restore one and a half positions and to do that we took $55,000 from her budget but we took it from other places that council have money, so it wasn't just an attack on her," Worthing said.
Councilman Allan Griggs was not present.
Weaver was present for most of Wednesday's meeting, but left before the official vote took place.
The big bone of contention between council's majority and the mayor was $260,000 that council wanted to reallocate for a parliamentarian, deputy clerk, raise for the city clerk and extending health benefits to some part time employees out of $56 million dollar budget.
"It's going to take time to stabilize the community, so right now everybody -- the mayor had a balanced budget ,so every department was alright with the cuts within the departments," said Councilman Maurice Davis, who voted to not override the veto.
Galloway and Fields said Mays called the special meeting for political posturing because he knew the council would not have enough votes to override the veto.
Mays said he called the meeting to comply with a time constraint imposed on the council in the city charter as soon as the mayor makes her veto.
"I'm very satisfied with it. I think for the council and the mayor. It's a good day," Mays said.
As for what happens next, Fields said they have to have a Finance Committee meeting.
"We have to have a special Finance Committee meeting, where I'm going to get out of my wheelchair and come down here again for that. But I want to talk about what budget we're willing to vote on to adopt," Fields said.
Fields is recovering from surgery and council wasn't sure if she would be present Wednesday.
"The question is, since we didn't override the veto, does the mayor's budget stand? I say yes it does, her budget as proposed. We'll double check it and make sure, but we have a council meeting before the first of July and we can call one in 24 hours," Mays said.
Worthing thinks the council needs to get their own attorney.
"I think that council's going to have to get together and have a vote for an attorney of our own. The charter is not clear what happens next," Worthing said.
City's attorney Angela Wheeler issued the following statement after Wednesday's vote:
"The resolution adopted the mayor’s original budget with specific item changes or amendments. Pursuant to §7-102(C) the Council failed to override the 'item veto' as required by two-thirds vote."
"Therefore, the budget in resolution 180106.2 is adopted without the changes vetoed by the Mayor. The Charter specifically states that none of the amendments have any force or effect unless two-thirds (2/3) of the Council members vote in favor of those changes at the time they are reconsidered. Therefore, the Mayor’s original budget is adopted without amendment."
The next council meeting is Monday, June 25.