Mayor issues third budget veto
GONZALES - For the third time, Gonzales Mayor Barney Arceneaux has vetoed the capital outlay budget for the city.
The move aims to secure additional funding for the police department, which was removed by an amendment by three council members.
Arceneaux did not veto the general fund budget, which slashed funding to the Ascension Economic Development Corp but will allow employees to get a 2 percent pay raise.
"Our employees have been wonderful, they've been waiting four months now for this two percent raise, never did I get a complaint, not one time, but we felt like, and I'm talking about me and the two councilmen and of course Chief Jackson, we felt like the time was now, to go ahead and move forward," said Arceneaux.
The mayor said he hopes the compromise will encourage the three council members to reconsider their public safety funding cuts.
The quibble over the capital outlay budget falls on about $110,000 that the police chief wants to buy new cruisers, but three councilmen have blocked that funding in the budget.
"We have over a million dollars surplus, so that leads me to believe that the three block vote is more personal because it's just not good government what we're in right now," said Chief of Police Sherman Jackson.
The council will have an opportunity to override the mayor's veto. If the veto stands, the mayor will have to present a new capital outlay budget at a future meeting.