Mayor's letter explains firemen's bonus veto

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Manila Council worked through a short agenda at the January meeting on Monday, Jan. 18. The council received a letter on the Mayor's veto on fireman bonuses, reviewed the budget, amended the 2009 expenses and accepted the 2010 budget.

Council members received a letter from Mayor Clifford Veach in reference to his veto of the firemen's bonus. The bonuses were approved at the December meeting. The bonus would have been equal to a month's payment to each firefighter. Manila's veteran firefighters receive $250 a month and new members receive $100 a month.

Among the reasons listed in the letter for the veto by Mayor Veach were no fireman had asked to be considered for a bonus; Geraldine Cherry, a new council member, had not been sworn in and without her second and vote the motion would have failed; and a comparison list of bonuses to firemen in other towns were listed.

Councilman Joni Isabell commented to Mayor Veach, according to the law, he had five days to submit a veto and the meeting was held on Dec. 21 and the letter was dated Dec. 28.

Mayor Veach said the veto had to be submitted within five days to the clerk and he had submitted a letter within the five days.

Mayor Veach reviewed the 2009 budget comparisons.

"Last year was a crazy year starting with the ice storm," Veach said.

He reported the administration fund was within budget, the animal control within budget, the fire department was just a little over, the police department was within budget, sanitation a little short on revenue and over on expenditure, did a lot of work out of the Parks and Recreation Department, water over budget, and sewer fund shows 105 percent income and 115 percent outgo.

Veach said several 2009 items in the budget would have to be amended.

"The auditors are not as interested in the income, but the expenses will have to be amended," Veach said. "Overall total was within budget."

The council adopted Ordinance 2010-1 amending the 2009 budget to reflect the actual expenditures. Amendments included expenses in the Sanitation Department $167,000; Fire Department $106,000; Street Department $180,000; Parks and Recreation $98,000; Water Department $325,000; Sewer Department $204,000; Firemen Pension $58,000; Airport $330,000; and Act 833 $16,000.

Council members unanimously adopted Ordinance 2010-2 for the 2010 Budget.

Mayor Veach also informed the council application had been submitted for a grant for the public works building project.

Mayor Veach and the council welcomed several representatives from the Manila Boy Scouts who were working on merit badges and observing the Council meeting. Also attending the meeting was former council member and former Manila resident Jim McMillion.

The Manila City Council meets at 6:30 p.m. the third Monday of each month at City Hall.

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