No Decision Made to Overturn Bowman Mayor’s Vetoes

July 15, 2013

A called meeting on Friday in Bowman to discuss recent vetoes made by Bowman Mayor Pamela Johnson yielded no results.

Called to question during the meeting was the authority of Bowman’s mayor to veto decisions made by the city council.

The 2003 version of the Bowman city charter had, at the time Mayor James Scarborough, with the authority of veto items.

According to Mayor Pro Tem Pete Gibbons, that version of the charter was amended in 2004, which removed those veto powers.

“It was brought before the state legislature and ratified by Governor Purdue, and in that amendment it states originally Mayor Scarborough’s veto power was in Article Section 2.31, and in the new charter it said that 2.3 was to be removed and insert new section 2.3 reserve”, said Gibbons.

Countering that information was Bowman City Attorney Andrea Grant, who said that, given the documents she was provided that Mayor Johnson was acting within her powers as mayor in regards to the vetoes.

“I don’t believe that the way article 2.29.7 makes 2.31 in conflict with the charter, and the charter specifically says the Mayor can do what is in an ordinance”, said Grant.

After a called meeting last month on June 20th, Mayor Johnson said the vetoes were a result of the city not having enough available money to make those three personnel decisions.

“If we go forward with hiring and doing this kind of pay raise, the citizens of Bowman are going to have to pay for it, and at this point and time I do not see where we are going to get the money”, explained Johnson after June 20th’s called meeting.

Mayor Johnson and Councilmember Pauline Seigler were not present for Friday’s called meeting, which resulted in the council not having enough votes to make a decision to override the vetoes.

More discussion of this issue is expected to take place during the council’s regular work session, which is scheduled for Thursday at 7:00pm.