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Mayor vetoes city budget

Mayor Gabriel J. Campana vetoed the tax-increasing $28.1 million city budget of 2020, as City Council prepared to hold a meeting to likely override the decision before Dec. 31.

“I must veto this amended budget and once again take a stand,” Campana said.

In response Friday, Council President Randall J. Allison said he would contact members of council and arrange a short meeting in which to vote. Five votes of “yes” would be needed to override the veto, he said.

Campana’s proposed budget held the line on taxes and included more police and provided a new employee to assist with Grafius Run, which remain funded in the budget, which was approved Dec. 12 in a 6-1 vote.

Councilman Derek Slaughter, mayor-elect, voted against the budget and the tax hike of $25-per-year, or 0.25-mills.

Campana said council’s budget includes more spending and adds a 22.9 percent increase in salary for the incoming mayor’s new secretary.

“It is important to note that all seven existing council members voted in favor of the motions to increase line items which caused the tax increase,” Campana said.

Allison, upon having the mayor’s statement read to him, said Campana previously had a full-time office secretary.

Campana has vetoed a prior budget early in his tenure.

Campana said council increasing a new employee’s salary by more than $7,400 was “irresponsible.”

He accused council of rewarding the worker for assisting on Slaughter’s campaign and said it was “wrong.”

“I am disappointed in the action that council has taken and their public stated intention to raise Williamsport taxes on a yearly basis,” Campana said.

He added that his budget was a “good one,” and a “tax increase is not necessary for 2020.”

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