Wilmington City Council President Theo Gregory Thanks the Chancery Court for Upholding Council's Legislative Authority

Posted on  05/28/2013 4:39 pm

Wilmington City Council President Theo Gregory thanked the Chancery Court for upholding Council’s legislative authority this afternoon by ruling that the Council does not have to hold a special meeting tonight. Mayor Williams had attempted to exercise a provision of the City Charter which allows a Mayor to request a special meeting of Council for a “public necessity.”

“The Mayor and his Solicitor, either intentionally or through their own negligence, attempted today but failed to dictate to the legislative branch of City government,” said Council President Gregory. “Ironically, they have grossly ignored the separation of powers doctrine which they claim to be so concerned about. As they have done since the start of the current FY 2014 budget process, they have failed to either understand or accept that the legislative branch has authority and responsibility under the Charter to review and develop a budget and, within that budget process, appropriate funds and amend the budget as it chooses. The Mayor may veto the Council’s work and the Council has the option to override that veto, which is what will happen Thursday night when Council meets as planned to override the veto and finally get a fiscal year budget in place as required by the Charter.”

If Council overrides the Mayor’s veto, then the $145 million balanced budget that Council approved in good faith on May 16 following seven weeks of examination and public hearings will become the official budget for the new fiscal year beginning July 1.

“This embarrassing situation that the Mayor and his Solicitor got us into could have been avoided if the Mayor would have just talked to Council, negotiated in good faith with us and shown respect for the legislative process,” the Council President said. “Instead, The Mayor, his assistants and his Solicitor have spent most of their waking hours in the last few weeks trying to usurp our powers and confuse the public with inaccurate information—all in an effort to stop Council from meeting to override the Mayor’s veto.

With that said, I apologize to the citizens of Wilmington for the way this budget process has played out in public,” said the Council President. “It is time to set aside our differences and move forward with each branch of government respecting the duties and responsibilities of the other. Council is ready to move on. We trust the Mayor is also.”