Council member speaks out about benefit veto

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - Is Toledo Mayor Mike Bell lashing out at council regarding last week's vote on domestic partner benefits?

Councilwoman Lindsay Webb thinks so, after the mayor issued a memo to council, directing members to take up concerns about city services and operations with the three Deputy Mayors, instead of the various department heads.

Last week council amended the mayor's proposal to extend benefits to registered domestic partners of city workers, to include a mandate to re-open contract negotiations with Firefighters Local 92, because the union has its own health care plan.

The mayor used his veto power, saying that amendment violates the city charter because council can't dictate how the mayor executes administrative functions.

"There's a memo on my desk that's telling us we have to route all citizen complaints through the Deputy Mayor's office. That will create a tremendous backlog and I believe it's in direct reaction to council's vote last week," says Webb.

Mayor Bell says the intent is to make sure council know the chain of command within the administration.

"What we're doing is making sure any requests they have they take it through a Deputy Mayor and we will organize our staff to make sure we can meet whatever needs they're asking for." Bell explained.

Council will decide whether or not to override the veto on June 19. The mayor has resubmitted his original domestic partner benefit legislation in hopes does not override.

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