City council OKs budget, but Mayor Brand plans to veto parts of it


Brand alerted city council of his intentions to veto on Wednesday

FRESNO, California — The next city budget for Fresno is in limbo, despite city council voting to approve it Thursday. Mayor Lee Brand said he plans to line-veto items on the FY 2020 budget to get it balanced.

Before city council continued to talk numbers Thursday morning, Brand made it clear he’ll veto parts of the budget to make sure it’s within what the city can spend.

“After the council adopts a budget and I receive the budget from the clerk — I will then detail out what items are vetoed and what the amounts are,” Brand said.

He made city council aware of his intentions to veto Wednesday in a letter, when the proposed budget was nearly $1.2 million over what the city was slated to spend.

But still, the budget passed in a 5-1 vote, with only councilman Garry Bredefeld opposing it. When passed, the budget now was $1.8 million over the allocated revenue.

Some of the next funding includes $200,000 for the Advanced Peace program, which aims to reduce gun violence. It will offer incentives, including money, for gang members when they reach certain benchmarks in the program.

Before the vote, many councilmembers like Esmeralda Soria, spoke highly of the current proposed budget.

“We are far off better today than we were ten years ago,” she said. For Soria, the budget invests more into city infrastructure, parks and public safety.

In response to Brand’s plan to veto, Soria thinks it’s wiser to wait-and-see what unused funds will carry over from FY 2019 that can go toward the FY 2020 budget.

She adds in years past, the city has seen significant returns this way.

“In the last four years, on average, we’ve seen about $7 million that we’ve had the opportunity to budget one-time items,” Soria said.

Brand now has ten days to figure out what he’d like to veto. After that, city council will have 30 days to override the vetoes. Five votes are needed to do that, otherwise, the vetoes stand.

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