Mayor vetoes portion of City’s budget for 2016

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LANSING, MI (WLNS)  – Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero filed paperwork Thursday evening, vetoing a portion of the city’s budget that the Lansing City Council amended for the 2016 fiscal year.

This is the paperwork mayor Virg Bernero handed to the city clerk’s office just before 5 p.m. today.

The two-page notice highlights why he feels that it is essential to have an Inspector General position for the Lansing Board of Water and Light, that the council has made clear, they do not support it.

“I just feel strongly that we need to institutionalize the oversight at the board of water and light,” Mayor Virg Bernero said. “We need to institutionalize accountability.”

But the Lansing City Council voted otherwise at its last meeting on Tuesday and came up with a different solution; one that forced the Mayor to veto it today.

“I think the council worked very hard to come up with a compromise,” City Council Member, Carol Wood said. “We didn’t say “no” to the Board of Water and Light, what we said was it needed an independent audit someone not attached to the Mayor’s office, not attached to City Council.

While both sides agree the BWL should be held accountable for the 2013 ice storm and going forward, the Mayor and council disagree on the type of solution that should be implemented to make sure of it.

“An audit is a one-time snapshot of what is going on that does not build capacity that does not institutionalize accountability,” Mayor Bernero said.

Council Member Carol Wood, thinks otherwise.

“An independent audit wouldn’t be the responsibility of the fact that I’ve got to keep my job, an independent audit tells us what’s right and what’s wrong and the potentials on how to fix it,” Wood said.

In his letter today, Mayor Bernero said he proposed a compromise that would result in a win-win situation for everyone.

“You can have your audit.. I can get the inspector general and by the way the inspector general will answer to the council and to the Mayor just like the city attorney,” Mayor Bernero said. “But I’ve met them more than half way.”

Moving forward, the Lansing City Council will have 14 days to potentially overturn that veto, which is a measure they could be discussing at their next meeting on Monday, May 18.

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