Warwick, RI Mayor Scott Avedisian said Wednesday he’d try to avoid raising taxes following the City Council’s override of his veto on an extra $400,000 in school funding.
The City Council unanimously voted in the additional funding June 3 immediately following a condemnation of the school department’s judgement by Council President Donna Travis and Councilman Joseph Solomon’s acknowledgement that the council has no control over its spending.
Councilman Steven Colantuono reminded his colleagues of their lack of control over how the $400,000 is spent during the June 10 special meeting vote on Avedisian’s vetoes. Colantuono also advised his fellow council members against approving the extra funding after many of the compensating amendments the council had made to pay for it had been struck down.
The Council overrode the Mayor’s veto on the measure, letting the school budget increase stand, with Colantuono and Travis voting against the override.
According to a statement from Avedisian released to media Wednesday afternoon, that leaves the city with a $400,000 structural deficit for the upcoming fiscal year starting July 1, 2014. The situation violates the Warwick City Charter, which requires a balanced budget.
Avedisian said he is meeting with the Finance Director and his budget team to determine how to ensure the budget as enacted by the Council follows the charter.
“It is my desire not to raise the tax rate and I will make every effort to balance the budget through other alternatives,” Avedisian said.
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