Let the showdown begin.
In a letter to Mayor Steve Bach
, City Council
asserts its budgetary authority
under the City Charter and code, saying, "It is what the Charter expects us to do and what the citizens of our city have elected us to do."
In the past City Attorney Chris Melcher
, hired by Bach and approved by Council, has said Council has very limited power to override a mayoral veto
involving the budget.
Besides asking Bach to produce more detail for his proposed 2014 budget, the three-page letter, signed by all nine members of Council, also states two major changes that Council plans to introduce:
— Council will be proposing a Stormwater appropriation department dedicated to stormwater operations and maintenance.
— Council will be proposing a supplemental budget appropriation ordinance out of the 2013 fund balance of $2 million dollars to the Stormwater appropriation department to begin work during this fiscal year on some of the stormwater issues from the 2013 summer flood.
Council also asserts its authority to adopt specific line items, which Melcher has said isn't allowed unless they pertain to "major legislative budget determinations."
From the letter:
Charter Sec. 3-70(d)(1) now reads, "In any ordinance appropriating funds, the Mayor may disapprove specific line items without disapproving the entire ordinance. After disapproval of specific line items, the ordinance shall be returned to Council to complete the over-ride process as outlined above as to each line item vetoed."
If the Mayor has the power to "disapprove specific line items," Council must have the power to pass specific line items in the first place.
Read the letter here: