Updated 11/05/2012 10:29 PM
Prop 1 could change mayor’s veto power
It’s a proposition that could very well change the mayor’s veto power in Binghamton and it’s now up to the voters to decide on. Our Elyse Mickalonis explains what Proposition 1 is and what you need to know heading to the polls on Tuesday.
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BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- ThOn Tuesday, voters in Binghamton will finally get to choose which elected officials they want in office, but they’ll also have to vote on something called Proposition 1 and it's got city council and the mayor at odds.
“Prop 1 was something that city council decided to pass and send on to the voters which changes second class cities law,” said Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan.
Binghamton City Councilor Teri Rennia added, “If you want to look at second class cities, it calls for three-quarters. Home rule allows us to change that to two-thirds. If you look at that, they have much larger legislative bodies.”
The proposition effects the city's charter and code. If approved by voters, it would allow the Binghamton City Council to override a mayoral veto with only a two-thirds majority. The current system calls for three quarters of the council to agree.
“When council was cut and reduced to seven, that three-quarters number never changed, but what did change was no long could seven out of nine council members override a veto. Now it requires six out of seven, obviously, proportionally, that’s a huge difference and it really shifts the very limited authority council had,” said Rennia.
A two-thirds majority would mean only five out of seven votes are needed to override a veto. Mayor Ryan says he doesn’t think anything needs to be altered and that the system that’s in place is working. He thinks this move is aimed to change something else.
"If there were some allegations that the mayor’s veto power was so strong and could never be overridden and there was evidence of that, I would say, 'I might agree with it,' but the fact is the last three vetoes I gave them, they overrode them. There’s no reason to change the balance of power,” said Ryan.
Rennia added, "It’s really not a shift in power and council was successful in overriding a couple of mayoral vetoes last year around the budget process, but there had been many, many more before that council had not been successful in."
Whatever the decision may be, voters will have the final say in this debate come Tuesday.