By Meghan Christian
Flint City Council (FCC) did not have the six votes needed to override Mayor Karen Weaver’s veto of the amended budget they proposed at a special city council meeting at 11 a.m. today.
The proposed budget included eight amendments, totaling a $267,000 difference in what the council wants and what the Mayor wants, which represents one half of one percent of the overall proposed budget for 2018-2019 of $55.8 million.
As described in yesterday’s East Village Magazine, the amendments mostly center on adding staff and benefits to the City Council and City Clerk’s offices to attempt to improve their functions, according to statements from the council’s majority.
Those in favor of an override were Monica Galloway (7th Ward), Eva Worthing (9th Ward), and Kate Fields (4th Ward). Those opposed were Council President Herbert Winfrey (5th Ward), Eric Mays (1st Ward), Maurice Davis (2nd Ward), Santino Guerra (3rd Ward), and Jerri Winfrey-Carter (6th Ward). Allan Griggs (8th Ward) was absent.
While most council members were not in favor of an override of the Mayor’s veto, most said they were still in favor of changes being made to the proposed budget. What is yet to be determined is how they would be able to proceed on that front based on interpretation of the City’s charter which was adopted Jan. 1 by a two-to-one vote.
According to Mays, the council’s finance chair, the Mayor’s proposed budget now goes into effect, but that the council shouldn’t move to adopt the budget as proposed, but work with administration throughout the year on a budget amendment process.
Mays said in a Monday meeting between Mays, Herbert Winfrey and the mayor, a semblance of an agreement had been reached.
“What we’ve reached an agreement on is that after July 1, certain amendments that we didn’t agree on will be further discussed throughout the year,” Mays said.
These amendments included council benefits, a parliamentarian for FCC, a grant writer for the police department, a deputy clerk, and city council ward accounts.
“We’ll talk about that in the budget amendment process,” Mays said of these amendments.
But according to Fourth Ward Councilwoman Fields, the Mayor’s proposed budget doesn’t automatically go into effect and FCC should work toward approving another amended budget.
“Because Council still has to vote in particular on accepting, adopting a budget, we can propose another amended budget if we have time to adequately discuss this,” Fields said, calling for a special finance committee meeting.
“As we move forward after July 1, we will continue to look at things that we have to fix coming out of emergency manager law,” Mays added.
The meeting adjourned following the failure of the vote to override the Mayor’s veto. No other meetings have been set at the time of publication.
EVM Managing Editor Meghan Christian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.