JAMESTOWN – The Jamestown City Council held a special meeting Monday night and voted to override two budget vetoes that were issued by Mayor Eddie Sundquist last week.
On Nov. 30, the council approved a $35.5 million city budget that included several amendments to the spending plan originally presented by Sundquist in October. Among the amendments was a decision to cut the city recreation coordinator position out of the budget, a move that would save the city nearly $55,000 next year.
Sundquist vetoed that cut, explaining the city relies on the position for more than just coordinating recreation activities – including helping with communications as well as grant writing.
However, during last night’s vote, the council stoop firm on its decision, voting 8 to 1 in favor of the veto override. City Council finance chair Kim Ecklund and explained it was due to COVID-19 and no activities planned for next year.
“The decisions of the council regarding the furlough of the recreation director position is not permanent and is not personal,” Ecklund said. “The mayor’s executive budget had little-to-no funding for any events in 2021, but yet still had some revenue projected and that to me, alone, was very concerning. This action forced the council to make the decision to furlough this position until it is safe to have and schedule any city sponsored events in Jamestown until 2021.”
Because the mayor wanted to restore the position through the veto process, he also had to introduce a second veto involving use of the city fund balance, in order to balance the budget. The council also overrode that veto with a unanimous vote.