Friday, November 06, 2009

Someone Tell Ghiz There's a Veto

I just heard Leslie Ghiz speaking on WVXU (mp3) about getting five City council members to reverse anything thing the lame duck council does, specifically on Property Taxes. Is she forgetting about something called the Veto? Here's the relevant part of the City Charter:
Section 6. Every ordinance shall be fully and distinctly read on three different days unless three-fourths of the members elected to the council dispense with the rule. No ordinance shall contain more than one subject which shall be clearly expressed in its title, and no ordinance shall be revived or amended unless the new ordinance contains the entire ordinance revived, or the section or sections amended, and the section or sections so amended shall be repealed. Council may adopt codification ordinances, codifying, revising and re-arranging the ordinances of the city or any portion thereof.

Any legislation passed by the council, whether in the form of an ordinance or resolution, shall be dated when passed. If the mayor approves the legislation, the mayor shall sign and date the legislation and it shall be effective according to its terms when signed by the mayor.

If the mayor does not approve the legislation, the mayor may veto the legislation and return it to the council within four days after passage with a notation of the veto on the legislation. The vetoed legislation shall be placed on the agenda of the council at its next regularly scheduled meeting. Legislation vetoed by the mayor and returned to the council may not be amended.

Upon motion passed by five members of the council, the council may reconsider the vetoed legislation. If six members of the council vote affirmatively to override the veto and enact the legislation, it becomes law notwithstanding the mayoral veto. It shall be effective according to its terms upon the affirmative vote and, if otherwise subject to referendum, the time for referendum on the legislation shall begin to run again from that date. Unless the council overrides the veto of the mayor at or before the second regularly scheduled meeting of the council following passage of the legislation, the legislation shall not take effect. Legislation enacted by the council over the veto of the mayor shall not be vetoed a second time. An ordinance placing on the ballot a charter amendment initiated by petition shall not be subject to a mayoral veto.

If the mayor neither approves nor vetoes the legislation, the legislation shall be effective according to its terms the fifth day following its passage. The effective date shall be noted on the original copy of the legislation by the clerk of council.
Every ordinance shall be published once within 15 days after its passage in a newspaper of general circulation in the city of Cincinnati, or a newspaper regularly published under the authority of the council. In the publication of every ordinance or resolution relating to improvements or to assessments upon private property for such improvements, the advertisement shall contain simply a statement of the title, number and date of the ordinance and resolution, a concise description of the private property affected, a summary of the nature of the improvements, the rate of any assessment levied or to be levied, and a reference to a copy of the said ordinance or resolution, which shall be on file in the office of the clerk of council. In the publication of all other ordinances or resolutions the advertisement shall contain a statement of the title, number and date of the ordinance or resolution, a brief statement of the nature of the ordinance or resolution, and a reference to a copy the ordinance or resolution, which shall be on file in the office of the clerk of council.

(Amended by Ord. No. 77-1999, eff. Dec. 1, 2001; election of May 4, 1999)
So, based on reading the above, the Mayor can veto Council ordinances and resolutions passed by council, and it requires 6 council members to override the veto. Now, other than measures to add Charter Amendments to the Ballot, there are no exceptions to the Mayor's veto power listed in this section I found.

If there is another section exempting the power of the Mayor on the veto, I invite anyone to post the link to it. I couldn't find it. I only found two sections mentioning the veto in a search of the entire Municipal code, including the Charter. The other simply was in Article III restating the Mayor has the power of the veto as defined in Article II, which is the section referenced above.

So, if the Mayor doesn't like what Leslie Ghiz and company wants, he can veto it. Why he's not used the veto yet, I don't know. If he doesn't use it now and going forward, then I'd like to know why. Leslie needs to work on getting 6 members of council to do something the Mayor does not like, not just five. Five is not the Magic Number when you don't like the Mayor.

Why do people keep underestimating the tenacity of the Mayor?

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