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No Vetoes Issued To 2024 City Budget, But Changes Likely

Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist did not issue any vetoes to the 2024 budget, though changes to the $40.15 million spending plan are expected.

Joe Bellitto, former city comptroller, has been taking a deeper look into the budget just recently passed by the City Council. Bellitto also is part of Councilwoman Kim Ecklund’s transition team as she is set to become mayor in January.

During a Finance Committee meeting Monday, Ecklund, R-At Large, provided a brief update on how that review has been going.

“There are going to have to be some amendments to the budget,” she said. “I learned some things about some personnel issues and some other things. So there definitely will be some, I just don’t know to what level.”

During its Nov. 27 voting session, the City Council unanimously adopted the 2024 budget after first approving 15 amendments.

Several of those changes limited the pay increases Sundquist had proposed in his executive budget to department heads. Ecklund, who is chair of the Finance Committee, noted at the voting session that the mayor had requested “considerable raises” to the various city leaders.

After some review, the council members decided to lower the raises — including to the city clerk, engineer and comptroller — to 2.5% so they would fall in line with the unions they represent.

After the budget was adopted, Sundquist told reporters his “one area of concern is the continual lowering of salaries for our department heads.”

He added, “It’s becoming increasingly more difficult to be able to hire, especially when the city has very low wages for management employees as compared to other municipalities across the state.”

However, Sundquist confirmed Monday that he signed the budget as it was passed. It includes a slight increase to the tax levy but no change to the tax rate.

Had the mayor issued a veto, the council would have taken it up during a meeting Dec. 11.

In November, Bellitto gave a presentation to the council on the city’s 2022 budget, which is currently undergoing an audit.

During Monday’s Finance Committee meeting, Ecklund said she inquired about the timing for getting tax bills out to city residents while amendments to the 2024 budget are pending. She believes the city may be able to push its deadline to Dec. 18.

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