Gulfport council overrides mayor's budget veto

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - In a six to one vote Tuesday afternoon, Gulfport City Council members overruled the mayor's veto of the 2013 budget.

"Luckily, the city's going to go ahead and move forward with our budget," Council President Ricky Dombrowski said. "It is a good budget and we're happy we can get past this today."

Mayor Schloegel held a news conference Monday to outline his reasons for vetoing the budget, and to ask council members to consider the possible consequences of their action. Despite his plea, council members on Tuesday appeared confident in their budget.

One of the hot topic issues surrounding the mayor's proposal was the closing of Fire Station #4. The administration said the recommendation to close the firehouse was a tough decision, but one made in the city's best interest.

With Tuesday's vote, the fire station is safe for now. But the mayor does have the power to possibly move forward with closing it in the future. Dombrowski said he's not sure if that would ever actually happen.

"I hope not. That would be an executive decision on the mayor's behalf and I really hope that's not something that's going to happen," Dombrowski said. "Fire Station #4 is still in place. We still have the three firemen that are going to go there, and we have three more going there that will bring us up to standard."

During the meeting, council members received word that new equipment would also soon be added to the department.

"It was very good news today from our fire chief in regards to Orange Grove with the new ladder truck going in that area. We're very happy that he came up with something for our residents north of I-10," Dombrowski said.

Though this hurdle may be behind the city, there's still a big task ahead. That challenge will be managing the city in the most successful way possible.

"We're going to be working on our budget on a daily basis. Something that is a moving budget that we have to amend and approve at each council meeting. We're going to continue to work for it and do the right thing for the citizens of Gulfport," Dombrowski said.

And looking out for the best interests of Gulfport citizens is one thing on which all city leaders can agree.

"City administration will continue to work to make sure we handle the public's money just as expeditiously as we can," Mayor George Schloegel said. "To be very, very tight on any expenditures so that we spend the public's money with very, very close guidance."

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