The inability to take action topped the action of Monday’s Wapakoneta City Council meeting.
Council faced two money ordinances tagged as emergencies – a temporary appropriations ordinance to start fiscal year 2014, totaling more than $10 million through more than three dozen funds; and a supplemental appropriations ordinance totaling $177,000 to adjust seven different funds.
Councilman Jim Neumeier voted no on each motion to suspend the rules, effectively halting the legislation. Each ordinance required a suspension of the rules to allow it be read as emergencies, a needed step to allowing the ordinances to be adopted Monday night without the required three readings.
With the absence of Councilor Dan Graf, the resulting 5-1 vote was not a majority enough to allow the rules be suspended and the ordinances read as emergencies. Six votes were needed.
Neumeier’s displeasure was nothing new. The councilman has often voiced his desire to receive emergency legislation the Friday prior to Monday’s meeting. He said he found these ordinances in his stack of information when arriving for the meeting and refused to take action before having a chance to review the pending legislation.
“The emergency we’ve got is we can’t get what we want in a timely manner,” Neumeier said. “What council asks for we never get.”
Neumeier pointed out the temporary appropriations ordinance listed the names of former councilors; the only information updated was the year in the title.
“This is the same ordinance from six years ago,” he said. “It’s the same one we pass every year. It wasn’t just prepared today.”
Safety-Service Director Bill Rains said he asks the city auditor, Gail Walters, to prepare the legislation in the timeline requested by council.
“If she does it, she does it,” he said. Council President Steve Henderson offered to reach out to Walters to ask her to work within council’s requests for timely information.
The non-action on the two ordinances requires council to meet in special section before the end of the year. Mayor Rod Metz scheduled that meeting for Dec. 26, at 6:30 p.m., prior to the finance committee meeting.