Mayor refuses to sign budget ordinance

In February the City Council unanimously passed an ordinance that gives more oversight to the city’s budget process. But in an e-mail to city officials, Council President Mark Smith said Mayor Don Gough refuses to sign it.

The measure requires that transfer of funds between departments ordered by the Mayor must be confirmed by the City Council — provided that the amount is more than $10,000 or if the transfer would bring the total amount of all transfers to more than $50,000 in any calendar year. The ordinance is only effective for the 2011-2012 biennium.

Council Vice President Kerri Lonergan-Dreke said they put in a tremendous amount of time into passing the current budget and they want it to be adhered to. Councilmember Jim Smith agrees. “I am totally baffled why the mayor would not be open to more transparency and oversight.  I thought this was a team effort,” he told us.

According to state law, if the mayor does not veto or sign an ordinance within 10 days of it being passed by the council, the ordinance then goes into effect. Because the ordinance was passed on Feb. 28, it is already in effect.

  1. I guess I don’t understand the purpose of this article. If the ordinance goes into effect whether the mayor signs it or not -unless he vetos – AND it’s been in effect since February 28 then the statements about it in an article a month later from Mark Smith, Kerri Longergan-Dreke and Jim Smith are just political grandstanding and mudslinging, right?

    1. I published the article because I believe it’s newsworthy when a mayor — any mayor — simply refuses to sign an ordinance that was unanimously passed by the City Council.

      1. Sue’s take was my own, initially. Frankly I’m mystified that the mayor didn’t veto it outright, which he should have done.

        This gem of a quot just freaking takes the blue ribbon for hypocrisy:

        “I am totally baffled why the mayor would not be open to more transparency and oversight. I thought this was a team effort,” [Mark Smith] told us.

        It’s difficult to decide where to even begin highlighting the self-serving, smirky disingenuousness of that remark, but let’s try.

        To begin with, what’s to be baffled about, really? As I said, the only “baffling” thing is that the mayor didn’t veto it, as this council has done everything imaginable and a few things even I couldn’t have imagined to hobble, stymie, frustrate and hamper the mayor at every turn, 24/7/365. Few of us out here are believing the “Bad Mayor” mantra these days… that gig has been overplayed to death and beyond, and the reality is flagrantly observable at any council meeting when the mayor is skewered almost instantaneously upon the meeting’s opening.

        I don’t know what the constraints are, in Lynnwood, upon mayorally ordered transference of funds between departments… but if they are so huge that the mayor could effectively re-write the budget after the fact, then that goes straight to the incompetence of the council in not having addressed this situation long, long ago. Transparency is a nice buzzword in these parts lately and it’s implicit that being against it is like being against babies or Christmas or marital bliss. Please.

        As for the “team effort,” that takes the cake. Council complaining that the Mayor won’t play on their team is like a pack of wolves criticizing a sheep for not collaborating with them.

        Amazing. And business as per usual in this astonishingly dysfunctional burb.

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