JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) – The Jamestown City Council voted to override all of Mayor Eddie Sundquist’s 2023 municipal budget vetoes, returning the spending plan to its original form passed during the November 28 Voting Session, with no tax increase for those at home.
While the council overturned all of the Mayor’s vetoes, he is most concerned about the repeal of the $75,000 dollar increase to sales tax revenue.
Council had voted to overturn the veto 8 to 1, with Councilman William Reynolds the only vote against it.
“I think one of the biggest things for us was really going to be the sales tax override,” explained Mayor Sundquist. “Because I do not think it is realistic and I think it sets the city up for failure for that high of a sales tax amount. Given the fact that we have only budgeted about 2 to 3 percent and this amount incorporates 6, almost 7 percent to last year, I think that’s a little high for my taste, and in fact, the County only budgeted about 5 percent.”
While Finance Chair and City Councilwoman At-Large, Kim Eckland understands the sales tax risk for the 2023 fiscal year, but with extra funds found after the budget, she believes that everything will cancel out.
“As I’ve clearly stated all along, there’s been no doubt that there have been a lot of errors that were found in this budget,“ stated Eckland. “And it was clearly a unanimous decision by this council to pass this budget including these cuts. Because of the inadequacies missing in the budget to make up and make sure that every department felt a little bit of a pinch whether it was not adding things that they wanted, or keeping things stagnant.”
In the end, Mayor Sundquist says that the actions taken by the council are within their right.
“The interesting part about this is that this is democracy right,“ explained Mayor Sundquist. “So if there is an override of any type of vetoes, that’s council’s prerogative.”
Council also voted 7 to 2 against $5,600 dollars for engineering supplies, 8 to 1 against $3,000 dollars for JURA, and 6 to 3 against $5,600 dollars for the Mayor’s travel expenses.