Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Opinion

September 14, 2013

Veto is a good way to end deputy mayor issue

If the other Republicans feel the same way Goshen City Council president Jim McKee does, then we aren’t headed toward a vote to overturn Mayor Allan Kauffman’s veto on a proposed deputy mayor ordinance.

As far as McKee is concerned, and he’s only speaking for himself, the issue is dead and there is little need for any postmortem discussion.

And we at The News tend to agree with McKee.

The idea of a deputy mayor was first taken to the council by Kauffman.

The mayor wanted to be able to appoint any current city employee or council member.

This led to discussion that perhaps Kauffman was trying to use the position as a way to cast a fellow Democrat in a more favorable light as the 2015 mayoral election approaches. Kauffman has publicly stated he intends not to seek re-election.

Whatever the reason behind the proposal, stated or otherwise, Kauffman’s proposal was defeated by a party-line vote 4-3. The Republicans hold a majority on the council and that left the Democratic mayor without a deputy.

Last week, the ordinance was reintroduced. What ended up passing eliminated anyone on the City Council as an option for the position with the exception of the council president.

In an interview with The News, Kauffman indicated he was thinking about vetoing the compromised ordinance. He had 10 days to make a decision. He finally pulled the trigger Thursday.

In stating his case as to why he vetoed, Kauffman said he was elected by the people of Goshen to make the best decisions for the city and that trust should carry over to allowing him to decide who the best deputy mayor would be.

Kauffman makes a compelling point. This is how the system works.

McKee said the issue of a deputy mayor has run its course. He said there are other pressing matters for the City Council to deal with. Budget hearings start Oct. 1.

Some simple math may also play a factor in the decision to move on.

To overturn a veto it takes five out of seven votes. And that vote must take place Tuesday. With Everett Thomas, a Democrat, expected to miss Tuesday’s meeting, it makes the chances of a veto overturn that much smaller.

One of Kauffman’s original reasons behind the request was that he didn’t want to announce publicly every time he was unavailable or out of town. Thursday, Kauffman stated that research found a public announcement is no longer necessary, quelling a major concern.

Kauffman’s veto seems as good a way as any to lay this matter to rest.

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Poll

Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
I think all students should be required to pay for their school meals
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