Del. mayor vetoes $500K cut for firefighters

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FireRescue1 Staff

WILMINGTON, Del. — A mayor vetoed a city council decision to cut more than $500,000 that had been budgeted for eight currently vacant firefighter positions.

The Associated Press reported that Mayor Dennis Williams vetoed the ordinance on Friday, saying it threatened public safety.

"I made a statement probably 36 months ago when I thought about running for mayor that I will not cut public safety. I'm not going to do that," Williams said. "No matter what the consequences are to this administration, we will stand firm for public safety."

The city fire chief and the union representing firefighters also opposed the cut. City Council President Theo Gregory said he was disappointed by the veto and was considering getting a council session together to try to override it, according to the report.

Gregory said the Williams administration cannot continue relying on higher taxes and fees on citizens and businesses while ignoring cost savings from smaller and more efficient government, according to the report.

The legislation approved last week passed council on an 8-5 vote, but will not go into effect unless the 13-person body meets again within 15 days to override the mayor's veto. A successful override will require nine council votes.

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