UPDATED WITH INTERVIEW WITH FOP PRESIDENT RICK SNYDER: In a surprise move that has angered members of the Indianapolis City-County Council, police officers and the public, Mayor Greg Ballard surprisingly vetoed a just passed ordinance that would have spent $4.7 million dollars on needed equipment for IMPD officers and needed repairs to IMPD facilities. The Council passed the proposal March 30th by a 24 to 4 bipartisan vote. Virtually EVERY Democratic and Republican member of the Council voted for the modest proposal. There had been virtually no opposition to the proposal during hearings before the Council. In his veto message Mayor Ballard said the proposal was, “A complete departure from (a) commonsense budgeting approach, and, thus, I must veto it.” Mayor Ballard was concerned that the items being purchased weren’t needed at this time or not included in t last fall’s budgeting. Said the Mayor, “ An appropriation that wasn’t budgeted and isn’t necessary is nothing more than an irresponsible waste of taxpayer dollars.” One reason the veto is surprising is that the Ballard Administration has routinely submitted requests for appropriations that haven’t been included in the regular budget as situations and operations change during a year.
Reaction from Council leaders was angry and swift. City-County Council President Maggie Lewis said, “I am deeply troubled by the Mayor’s sudden veto of the Council’s bi-partisan appropriation to adequately equip our police officers and make necessary repairs to IMPD facilities. The Mayor’s veto sends exactly the wrong message to the men and women that patrol our streets and try their best to keep us all safe every day”, Lewis continued. Council President Lewis added that the dollars are coming from the new Public Safety Tax which was raised at the end of last year to cover “purposes just such as these”. Police reaction was equally vehement. In an interview Monday, April 13th on Afternoons with Amos, Fraternal Order of Police President Rick Snyder explained what the $4.7 million would go towards, why the funds were important to public safety and police protection and how important support was coming from Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry and both Republicans and Democratic City-County Councilor. Earlier Snyder had expressed his outrage on Twitter:
It’s expected the Council will vote to override the Mayor’s veto at their April 20th meeting. Hear FOP President Rick Synder Explain Why the Funds Are Needed in An Afternoons with Amos Interview. Runs 13 Minutes ©2015 WTLC/Radio One. Audio Starts After Video Ad. [theplatform account=”BCY3OC” media=”C4ridkgpXCk_” player=”xFJXq1diB1tB”]