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JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) — Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist has issued five different vetoes on the 2023 municipal budget, ultimately restoring over $15,000 dollars that was previously cut by the City Council including a downsize to his travel expenses.
The Mayor expressed concern over sales tax revenues for the 2022 fiscal year. Citing a slowed increase this year, and a possible increase to the city’s fund balance. The Mayor is, however, explaining alternatives for the council to review.
“We did not do a lot of vetoes, and I think there are some opportunities to talk about a budget amendment,” explained Mayor Sundquist. “As we’re going through this process, we did find additional funding that could be removed and added back into the budget, so it helps reduce some of the fund balance.”
One point of concern for Council member at Large Jeff Russell was the Mayor’s travel budget. Mayor Sundquist says he is traveling more than past administrators, by working alongside other municipalities and mayors across the region and nation.
“In terms of the actual overall cost, the former mayor spent around, anywhere from $8,000 to $9,000 dollars in travel expenses per year,” stated Mayor Sundquist. “So, I think the budgeted amount that we had this year was somewhere around $11,000 dollars. We’re currently at about $9 or $10,000 for traveling this year. The majority of it is 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.”
The Mayor went on to say that some travel does get reimbursed to the city, and touts his work making connections on the state and federal level.
Other changes to the budget include $3,000 dollars to the Jamestown Urban Renewal Agency, the elimination of a bond interest payment, and a cut of $5,600 dollars for engineering supplies, stating that with the increased amount of road work the city is doing those supplies would be needed.
City council has until December 15 to override any vetoes presented by the Mayor.
“One way or the other, we either have to take some partially, all of his recommendations, or none of his recommendations,“ explained Council President Dolce. “And either override all of them, override some of them, meet somewhere in the middle, whatever. And then whatever we do, if it changes any of the budgeted amounts that we passed last week, then we would have to, the following week, make an adjustment to the budget.”
During their Voting Session on November 28, the council had 27 different amendments to the 2023 Municipal Budget.
City Council plans on reviewing and possibly changing any of the amendments during a special meeting on Monday December 12 just prior to their regular work session.
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