Mayor Bernero Responds to City Council's Budget - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Mayor Bernero Responds to City Council's Budget

 

The budget deadline for the city of Lansing is just one day away. City council finalized their budget, which now goes to the mayor for either his approval or veto.

City Council's plan for erasing the $5.5 million deficit is a little different than the mayor's. Rather than raising customer fees for hydrants and streetlights, they've proposed a one percent increase on b-w-l's revenue payment to the city –a plan Mayor Virg Bernero says he can live with.

"The approach that I recommended would pass constitutional muster. The approach that they are recommending, moving to the board of water and light return on equity, is another way to go. I'm open to that," said Bernero.

Still, he says, his original idea has Lansing's support.

"The people aren't against this. My phone's not ringing off the hook. The neighborhood meetings I've been to people understand completely. I hate to have to ask them to pay more, but we're talking about an average of 46 dollars a year. It is pennies a day –for what –quality of life, to keep the street lights on and to keep the city solvent," said Bernero.  

It's the smaller cuts the council's recommended that Bernero takes issue with, like eliminating $43 thousand from Lansing's "sister city" and faith based programs, and $400 thousand for economic development.

Bernero says those programs, among others council intends to cut are vital to Lansing, and that council is using them for political leverage.  

"This is nothing but gamesmanship, those are examples of non-starters, really just ridiculous things, just intended as insults to the mayor," said Bernero.

The mayor says the council has proposed those same cuts in the past, and his response hasn't changed.

"Typically it's been with a four letter word, veto. I hate to have to do that, but of course it's part of my job," said Bernero.

He can't officially veto until after the meeting tomorrow, and with council's power to override his veto, the budget issue is far from over.

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