“This budget has earned my veto because it’s politically motivated flaws do not serve the people of this community.” – Mayor James R. Fouts
I placed my veto upon the budget recently passed by the Warren City Council. This budget has earned my veto because it’s politically motivated flaws do not serve the people of this community. The city council “Gang of Four” seems motivated to issue political vengeance instead of serving the city, and I won’t go along.
They cut funding for a new fire station that we could build with federal American Recovery Act Funds while increasing the amount of money that they can send to their outside attorney for more destructive lawsuits.
Their budget interferes with the fire department’s recruitment strategy, hindering the ability to bring in more firefighters, while at the same time increasing the size of the staff for the city council.
The Gang of Four has its priorities wrong and I will not stand for it. They put themselves first, and I will always put the people of this community first.
Council is attempting to change the form of government by now micromanaging the mayor’s office and administration. They want to approve the current office staff of the mayor’s office. Failure to approve could mean the mayor would have no staff. This poses a danger for all strong mayor form of governments including Detroit, Dearborn, Livonia, and Lansing, and many other strong city governments.
Council has removed all ARPA funding for Fire-$6,000,000, Police-$1,000,000, Library-$300,000, Recreation-$1,700,000, Cyber security-$500,000, COVID related expense-$250,000. Nearly $10 million dollars cut, most of this earmarked for Public Safety and Public Security.
They have also deleted important positions including Diversity Director, Economic Development Director, Deputy Director of Senior Housing, and an Assistant Attorney position. They also deleted the popular Newsbeat magazine that goes to every home.
They deleted most communications to residents regarding the Communications Department, and the DDA.
At the same time council has increased their budget by two positions and increased contractual services to nearly $500,000. Mostly to pay for their outside law firm at taxpayer expense.
Warren City Charter provides that the Mayor is to administer City operations. Simply put, the charter was not amended to give Council that power. Warren charter is a strong mayor government not weak mayor as the council is attempting to make it.