The Pensacola City Council hold today at 3:30 p.m. a special meeting to discuss Mayor Ashton Hayward’s veto of the council action to hire a budget analyst.
Council President Brian Spencer, whose wife Crystal chaired the commission that wrote the 2009 city charter, has placed on the agenda a discussion of the veto. Council members Sherri Myers and Jewel Cannada-Wynn have asked for votes to override the veto. See Agenda-2.
Myers has been vocal about her position on the matter. In an email to City Attorney Lysia Bowling, she said on Friday:
In my opinion the mayor does not have veto powers, whether by ordinance or resolution regarding the council hiring its own staff per the charter amendment.
The charter amendment that was put before the voters, clearly says the power of the council to hire its own staff is INDEPENDENT of the Mayor. If the mayor can veto any ordinance or resolution of the council regarding its staffing needs then we reach the most ridicules result.
For instance, if the council as a body directs our staff to work on a particular project, the mayor could veto that decision. If the council as a body decides to give raises, promotions, demotions, etc., to its staff the mayor could veto those decisions. If we follow your logic then the council is required to have a super majority vote to exercise its right to decide and control its staffing needs.
According to the Mayor, council is not allowed to interfere with those employees under his authority, not even ask for information without his consent, but he can interfere with our staff whenever he gets a simple urge. This is not the result intended by the charter amendment. It clearly states that our power when it comes to the staff is INDEPENDENT from that of the Mayor.
Under the rules of statutory construction the courts cannot interpret an law that would result in the absurd.
The Pensacola News Journal asked the City Council to override Hayward’s veto in its Sunday’s editorial, wondering what the mayor is afraid a budget analyst might uncover.