OGDEN — Mayor Matthew Godfrey has issued a veto over three contentious policies established by the Ogden City Council in June.
The city still maintains its operating budget established by the council, including a year's worth of funding for the Marshall White Community Center.
Godfrey and the Ogden-Weber Community Action Partnership have come to an agreement for the nonprofit organization to begin managing the center, which houses a swimming pool, boxing ring, gym and classrooms.
Residents cried foul because they feared the Ogden-Weber Community Action Partnership would close the pool to make room for more classroom space. And the council, seeking to assuage those fears, approved a policy stating that the center and its pool shall be maintained.
The council also approved two similar statements regarding the Lorin Farr pool and the El Monte and Mt. Ogden golf courses.
In a memo to the council explaining his reasoning for vetoing the three policy statements, Godfrey reiterated his arguments from that June 16 council meeting.
"These sections violate the principles of separation of powers which control the council-mayor form of government," Godfrey said, adding that they "illegally infringe upon valid and enforceable contract rights."
Because Godfrey already had a contract with the partnership, the policy statements fly in the contract's face and could cause legal problems for the city, he said. The Ogden-Weber Community Action Partnership is scheduled to take over the center's lease.
Council members said they felt the policy statements were their only recourse because the contract couldn't guarantee the Marshall White pool would remain open. The partnership has said it will strive to keep it open but can't promise.
Council members expressed disappointment that only Councilman Jesse Garcia was included in contract discussions, not the entire council.
Godfrey's memo maintains that the vetoed sections usurp his executive authority over property and program management in the city.
"I respectfully urge the council to abandon any attempts to renew the (vetoed) provisions or to adopt similar provisions in the future," the mayor wrote.
City Council executive director Bill Cook said the next opportunity for the council to discuss the vetoed provisions is during the Aug. 4 council meeting. If the council were to override the veto, it would take five of seven votes to do so.
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