Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist has issued four vetoes on the 2023 city budget that would restore $15,100 in cuts by Council and reduce the sales tax revenue increase Council had passed.
Sundquist cited a slowed increase in sales tax revenues for 2022 and a concern that the City could fall short of projected revenues for this year as the reason he was vetoing a $75,000 increase to that revenue line that Council passed by amendment.
Another line vetoed by Sundquist was the $6,500 cut to the Mayor’s Office travel and education line. Council member at large Jeff Russell asked if the Mayor’s office was traveling more than before with Sundquist responding that he is compared to 2020 and 2021, “The former mayor spent around, anywhere from $8,000 to $9,000 in travel expenses per year. So, I think the budgeted amount that we had this year was somewhere around $11,000. We’re currently at about $9 or $10,000 for traveling this year. The majority of it is for conferences for the New York Conference of Mayors. We do also have conferences for the National League of Cities, which we’re a partner with.”
Sundquist said some of the travel has been reimbursed as well.
He also vetoed a $5,600 cut to the Engineering supplies line citing the increased amount road work the City is doing, “Most of it is due to federal and state funding for roads and others. The engineering line in particular usually goes to blueprints, other engineering costs for streetscapes. Sometimes it’s other miscellaneous engineering items, but really we’re focused on the items it takes to redesign some of the street work.”
The third cut Sundquist aims to restore through a veto is $3,000 from the Jamestown Urban Renewal Agency, saying in his message that the cut “reflects poorly for our shared concern for the extraordinary housing issues Jamestown faces.”
A fifth veto by Sundquist is to the Appropriated Fund balance, which is to allow Council to reappropriate additional funds to balance the 2023 budget should they not override some or all of the vetoes.
Sundquist also proposed a further budget amendment to eliminate a bond interest payment in the amount of $52,964 that was related to the bond payment cut by Council from the budget. He said that by passing the amendment, Council could avoid a full veto override of the three cuts. It would also reduce the sales tax revenue increase needed by $37,864.
City Council now has until Thursday, December 15 to try to override any of the Mayor’s vetoes. It requires a 2/3 majority, or six votes, to do so.
Based on discussion at Council’s work session, Council will hold a special meeting on Monday, December 12 prior to the regular work session where they will vote on overriding any of the vetoes.
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