Mayor issues vetoes on sewer fund use, golf fee

Mayor Ann Thane submitted two vetoes on Friday. The first was on a resolution passed unanimously by the council on May 21 requesting state legislators to allow the city to transfer funds from the sewer fund to the general fund.

The resolution states the city is facing a “difficult financial outlook, and as a result taxpayers are continually asked to bear the tax burden for balancing the city budget” and asks that the city be “allowed to use a portion of its waste water revenue to stay within the 2% tax cap” in the same way the city is allowed to transfer funds from its water fund.

Thane’s veto statement says, “These conditions exist in every municipality and do not form the basis to ask the state to make an exception to the law,” and that “this budget and the last budget were adopted with property tax decreases.”

The statement also says, “this council was presented a budget that was balanced through the inclusion of a new revenue source (city run ambulance service). This proposal would have removed tax burden from our taxpayers. The council has chosen to ignore this option.”

Additionally, the statement criticizes the council for using fund balance to offset recurring costs and expresses concern that the use of fund balance may result in a downgrade in the city’s credit rating.

The second veto was on a resolution approved 4-1 on May 21 that would prohibit the golf course from charging for additional people to ride on a member-owned golf cart.

According to Thane’s veto statement, the action goes against the recommendation of the Golf Commission, and no analysis has been done to determine the impact on the course’s budget.

Download the mayor’s complete veto statements here and here.

The council has scheduled a special meeting for June 10 at 5:45pm with two resolutions on the agenda which if passed by 4 out of 5 council members, would override Thane’s vetoes.

The council may also vote on a capital projects borrowing resolution, contingent on whether the city’s bond counsel has prepared the necessary information in time for the meeting.

Tim Becker

Tim Becker is the owner of Anthem Websites Inc. which publishes The Compass. He serves as both editor and a writer.