Mayor Chris Frye vetoed an amended fiscal procedure ordinance approved by New Castle City Council earlier this month.
The council approved the ordinance Sept. 10 which would require any purchase of “supplies, materials, equipment and services for public improvements” costing between $1,500 and $20,100 to first be approved by the council.
"This ordinance was voted on unanimously and therefore my exercise of veto authority might be misconstrued as a show of power and/or political," Frye wrote in a letter to council, dated Friday. "I assure you it is neither. I have reasonable doubt in council's ability to work closely with my administration unbiasedly and in a way that is perceived by the public as cooperative."
Frye, who called the passage of the ordinance "impulsive and shortsighted," wrote he cannot support the ordinance because the council displayed "a lack of interest" to work directly with him and Stephanie Dean, the city's chief financial officer and business administrator, via the council's finance committee. He went on to say the ordinance "thwarts" his ability to administer the budget and the city's day-to-day operations.
"Situations such as this ordinance creates counterproductive processes that tie up daily staffs' time and effort answering questions regarding tasks and funding that have already been approved within our annual budget," he said.
The council will discuss the veto tonight at its caucus meeting at 6:30 p.m. in city hall and may potentially vote to override the veto during its Thursday voting meeting. The five-member council will need a supermajority — four votes instead of three — to override the veto.
This is the second ordinance Frye vetoed. The first was on March 6 pertaining to the formation of council committees and was overridden by a majority vote.