ELKHART – The mayor of Elkhart and the city council are at odds over balancing next year's budget.
On Monday, Mayor Dick Moore, a Democrat, announced he is vetoing Republican sponsored amendments to the 2013 budget.
The council had voted to cut 8 positions, including the mayor's assistant who makes $72,000 a year.
Dick Moore has been in office over 4 years and he has never used his veto power until now.
He and the council have been butting heads about the 2013 budget for months.
In August, Mayor Moore submitted a budget to the council. In it, he proposed a furlough program, forcing all city employees, including police officers and fire fighters, take 3 to 5 mandatory unpaid days off. He believes that would result in $400,000 savings.
Last week, the council, which has a Republican majority, responded by offering their own budget amendments on top of the mayor's furlough plan. That included eliminating 8 positions, several of which are top-level city positions, including the director of the Tolson Center, director of the RailRoad Museum, as well as cutting one of the mayor's assistants postions, a savings of $465,000.
On Monday, the mayor responded by exercising his veto power, which means those positions will not be cut, but the furlough program will be implemented.
His furlough program is not setting well with police and firefighter unions who believe it violates their contracts. They're expected to take legal action to challenge it.
Third District Republican Councilman David Henke says the mayor's veto actions were inappropriate. But Henke says the council is not expected to try to override the veto, saying that would only hurt the city's finances more.
"I believe we'll allow the mayor to do his part, and he will have a more scrutinized time these next three years, going forward," warned Henke.