The ongoing budget battle among the Gonzales City Council seemed quieter at the latest meeting, as no councilmen opposed the Mayor's latest budget veto.
Last week, Mayor Barney Arceneaux passed the city's general fund, giving workers a pay hike and allowing business as usual. However, the Mayor again vetoed the city's outlay budget which is the funding used to maintain or purchase city assets. Assets include police vehicles, which are at the heart of the matter. The vetoed budget cut nearly 25 percent of the police equipment funding, which Gonzales Chief Sherman Jackson says is needed to purchase new units.
"The units I have are broken and need to be repaired, do I spend the money? Should I spend $1,800 on a transmission for a unit that's seven years old and is worth about $4,000? It doesn't make sense to me," said Jackson.
"Right now we're just hoping we can get the extra money available for these police units," said Arceneaux.
The city leaders say they are ready to find a solution, but moving forward will be a challenge. Three councilmen- Gary Lacombe, Timothy Vessel and Terance Irvin are in favor of the budget. The mayor says he will continue to oppose it. Lacombe and Vessel are currently the target of a recall campaign.
"We're always sitting down and talking, and that's where we go from here. Sit down and talk to the mayor and see where we can go from here," said Irvin after Monday's meeting.
"This door is open every day. I tell them all the time, call me, text me, or come in the office any time of the day that's fine. I have not heard anything," said Arceneaux.
The outlay budget can be brought up again for approval at the next council meeting.