by Jonathan Weaver
Ford City Mayor Marc Mantini’s used some of his mayoral power for the final time last night – to overturn several ordinances Borough Council put in place just a few weeks ago.
Mayor Mantini – who will be sworn in as a new council member at the January 4 reorganization meeting at the Latin American Club – vetoed the animal and nuisance ordinances that were to go into effect at the
Mayor Mantini also vetoed the proposed tax ordinance – which included a 1.6 mill tax decrease.
Councilman Gene Banks and Councilwoman Beth Bowser were the only of the sitting Council members to not vote to override the mayor’s veto, but even in a 3-2 minority, they prevented the overrides.
“There’s more we have to explore,” Banks said.
“I thought it moved too fast to be what it could be,” Bowser said. “I’m the type of person (that) I don’t do anything halfway.
“I believe in them – I don’t believe they are where they need to be right now.”
As Borough Manager Eden Ratliff explained, all five votes would have been needed to be in-favor to override the mayor’s veto.
Both Outgoing Councilwoman Vicki Schaub and Outgoing Councilman Jerry Miklos said they had no phone calls from residents that opposed either of the ordinances before the vote.
“I have not had one response from one person that had any opposition to this ordinance,” Schaub said.
Schaub later added that she did not have feedback from council members while she was drafting the ordinances.
Mayor Mantini echoed Bowser’s comments while explaining his vetoes.
“There are some positive things in here, and there are some positive things the new Council can address,” Mayor Mantini said. “These aren’t earth-shattering things that had to be now.”
Councilman-elect Tyson Klukan – who was in the audience last night – said the ordinances will be revisited, perhaps even at next week’s meeting.
During a special meeting a few weeks ago, Klukan said he and other incoming council members recognized the tax ordinance had some “flaws.”
“(The tax ordinance) was pushed through in a way that they wanted it in place before the end of the year,” Klukan said. “I was not shocked by (Mayor Mantini’s) actions.”
For example, Klukan was against decreases in the Fire Tax – which allocates to the local volunteer fire department.
Ratliff and Klukan estimated a new tax ordinance has to be put in place by the end of January.
Council members did adopt the proposed repeal of a $150 Business Privilege Tax 4-1. The elimination goes into effect immediately.
Mayor Mantini still has 10 days to veto or accept the Business Privilege Tax ordinance. He said following the meeting that he hoped the new Council will be ‘business-friendly.’
“We want this to be a business-friendly community again,” Mayor Mantini said.
In other business, Mayor Mantini recognized Police Sgts. John Atherton and Mark Brice before their last shifts.
Earlier this year, the two police sergeants chose not to renew their contract with the borough and opted to accept retirement options.
Mayor Mantini said the two men “served this community with honorably with dignity and bravery.” He thanked them and asked that local residents do the same.
After a unanimous vote, the Borough will sell both men their respective Glock 22 pistols.