Mayor Sandy Stimpson plans to veto two proposed City Council amendments to the fiscal year 2015 budget.
Stimpson announced Monday afternoon that he would veto a proposal to extend the sales tax increase for 38 months, and instead would reintroduce his original proposal for a two-month extension only.
In a press release, Stimpson wrote that the citizens of Mobile “need to their voice heard regarding the long-term future of any additional sales tax.”
“If the citizens support such a tax, I ask that the City Council commit to working with the administration to identify the capital expenditure plan for the tax,” he wrote.
In addition, Stimpson wrote that a “year-by-year assessment of the city’s fiscal needs and productivity will help identify if a full or partial 1 percent is even necessary.”
As for the proposal to move $2.5 million from the capital fund to the general fund to pay for the health benefits of Medicare-eligible retirees, Stimpson said he would veto it because it took too much away from public safety.
“Because this veto affects city retirees, the intended beneficiaries of the amendment, I remain committed to evaluating the city’s new health plan cost-sharing model and coming to a fair and balanced outcome that will continue to take good care of those who have served this community for decades,” Stimpson wrote.
Stimpson stopped short of saying he would veto an amendment proposed by Councilwoman Bess Rich to give $1.5 million from the city’s capital fund, earmarked for parks and use it support the building of a county soccer complex. He wrote that he would reserve further comment on it until the more questions were answered.
He said he wants to know the answers to questions involving costs, funding, location and economic impact of the complex.
Stimpson also called for a strategic visioning session for 2015. He said the session, which will involve administration staff, himself, and the City Council, will promote a “candid exchange of ideas about the administration’s plans for fical year 2015 and how we can partner with the council in producing tangible results.”
The council will meet in its regularly scheduled meeting tomorrow. State law requires the city to pass a balanced budget by Oct. 1.