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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Goshen Mayor Kauffman vetoes deputy mayor ordinance

Council can override veto at Tuesday, Sept. 17 meeting

Posted on Sepa. 12, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on Sepp. 12, 2013 at 5:35 p.m.

GOSHEN — Mayor Allan Kauffman vetoed the ordinance on Thursday, Sept. 12 that would have established a deputy mayor position for the city.

In an email to city council members, Kauffman announced the veto and laid out some of the reasons behind his decision.

“While it is a position I asked to have established, and I still believe there are valid reasons to have one, there are incongruities that don’t register well with me,” he said in the message.

One of the reasons behind Kauffman’s veto included the fact that an acting mayor could legally only be chosen from among council members but the city’s ordinance would eliminate all but the council president from consideration for deputy mayor.

Kauffman also noted that in previous discussions, some council members argued that all council members should be excluded because acting as deputy mayor could detract from their responsibilities to their constituents. But at last Tuesday’s meeting when the ordinance passed, no council members raised that concern when the council president was added to the field of candidates.

Among Kauffman’s other reasons were possible incongruities between the council president and other council members in terms of experience and number of the population that voted for each candidate.

The bottom line, however, was Kauffman’s belief that he was elected because citizens expect him to make the right decisions.

“State statute does not put limitations on who can be appointed,” he explained. “I would think most voters would anticipate I could choose someone ideologically aligned — someone who would make decisions consistent with how I think, probably not always, but generally.”

The city council can still override the veto, but must do so at next Tuesday’s meeting.

Kauffman said in the email that he will be in Indianapolis for a meeting and will therefore not be in attendance.

Council President Jim McKee will preside over the meeting, but will still be granted the right to vote on the issue.

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