Mayor, council rift over spending delays city budget - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Birmingham mayor, council rift over spending delays budget

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A new operating budget and spending plan have caused division among Birmingham city leaders, leading to a delay in agreements.

The city fiscal year for 2014 officially begins July 1. However, the amount of money for Mayor William Bell's proposed weed removal program as well as additional funding for Civil Rights Movement commemoration activities continue to draw opposition.

Press releases and memos from both Mayor William Bell and City Council President Roderick Royal shed light on these monetary issues and more. Bell's entire proposed budget for fiscal year 2014 is more than $380 million.

In a press release, Bell says "I have reserved Conference Room D and I am requesting the Council meet with me immediately following City Council Meeting, Tuesday, July 2, 2013 to further discuss the adoption of a budget that provides safe neighborhoods, clean streets and a quality of life our Citizens deserve.

Read Full Press Releases/Memos Below:

"Mayor Delays FY2014 Budget Rather Than See Neighborhoods Suffer"
Reaches Out to Council for further Discussion

Mayor William Bell today sent a memo to Councilors asking them to reconsider their proposed budget by restoring funding for neighborhood and community clean up initiatives.
"We all know and our citizens have made it clear that this is a critical issue and I can't in good conscience put forth a budget that does not even begin to address the issue of blight in the community," said Mayor Bell.

From: Mayor William A. Bell, Sr.

Re: Budget Response of June 26, 2013

I am writing in response to your above referenced budget memo dated June 26, 2013 and I agree and support your recommended expenditure reductions including:

· SWAC $550,000

· Urban League 85,000

· Innovation Depot 31,124

· BATLA 4,444

· Urban Impact 27,500

· Labor Day Classic 50,000

Total $748,068

I also mentioned in my previous communication distributed the morning of June 26, 2013 that it is very important to include our match with the State for the Bass Masters Tournament of $150,000 that will generate millions of dollars in economic impact. This stimulus is in addition to Bass recently relocating their headquarters to the City of Birmingham. While we will not have a Labor Day Classic this year, we continue our support to Miles College in the amount of $50,000.00.The net effect of these changes will result in the Council having $548,068.00 to re-appropriate at its discretion.

There are items you recommended that I am not in support of and as Mayor of the City of Birmingham, it is my responsibility to administer our City in a fiscally sound manner. Your recommendation to move $1,565,000.00 to enlarge the Council Office operating budget appears to create a separate administrative branch. As I have heard numerous times from the dais, we all want a clean City. Together, we can use these funds to make Birmingham a cleaner City.

I have reserved Conference Room D and I am requesting the Council meet with me immediately following City Council Meeting,Tuesday, July 2, 2013 to further discuss the adoption of a budget that provides safe neighborhoods, clean streets and a quality of life our Citizens deserve.

Birmingham City Council Media Advisory:

Mayor Delays FY14 Budget

Birmingham, AL – The fiscal year budget cycle begins July 1, 2013 and the Birmingham City Council has presented a balanced budget to the administration after several successful budget workshops.

The FY14 budget totals approximately $380.9 million, an increase of 4.2% over last year's budget revenues. The process began in May when the Mayor presented the Council with his proposed budget as required by the Mayor-Council Act.

"The Council delivered a balanced budget to the Mayor on Thursday, June 20, 2013," Council President Roderick Royal said. "As required by the Mayor-Council Act (Sec 5.09) the Mayor is required to direct the finance director to place the appropriate ordinances on the agenda from the recommendations of the Council as long as the budget remains balanced."

The Council has held three budget work sessions. -- June 5, June 12, and June 19, all at 4:30pm. A budget hearing was also held on Monday, May 20, 2013.

"Not only has the Mayor failed to attend any budget session, but he has also failed to direct staff to prepare the appropriate budget ordinances for the last two Council meetings preventing the city from having an approved budget," Royal said.

"The Act also provides (Sec 3.15) that The Mayor may veto any action that is potentially adopted by the Council within 10 days of the time of passage," Royal said.

City services will not cease if the FY14 budget is not passed by July 1. The city will operate on the FY13 budget until the new budget is approved.

 

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