Colorado

Dec 19, 2013 6:39 PM by Andy Koen

Bach tells staff to ignore veto override

COLORADO SPRINGS - Mayor Steve Bach was quite clear about what he thought of city council's override of one of his vetoes.

"I am directing city staff to disregard council's actions that are illegal, that violate the charter," Bach said during a news conference Thursday.

That remark didn't sit well with council president Keith King.

"Hopefully he reconsiders what he's said here today and he will not have an actionable item where he transfers money in between the different departments," King said.

The fight has to do with how the mayor spends money. Early in his administration, Mr. Bach consolidated spending into five major departments.

"The mayor can effectively move funds between those five departments without ever coming back to council and asking to move funding from department to department," explained councilwoman Jill Gaebler

Then, council then passed an ordinance requiring the city's 12 named departments to keep their money to themselves.

"We're not trying to create a more bureaucratic system," King said of the ordinance. "We're just saying let's honor what the charter says and do the twelve."

But the mayor believes keeping the money divided violates his executive authority. He provided this email specifying his authority to set the budget as he sees fit.

The feud may end up in the courts with the city suing itself. It's an unpopular option that Bach said could cost taxpayers up to a million dollars.

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