Hogansville makes changes to mayoral veto

Published 8:32 pm Tuesday, October 2, 2018

The Hogansville City Council voted 4-1 Monday night to approve an amendment to the city’s charter, changing the procedure for overriding a mayoral veto.

Fred Higgins, Theresa Strickland, Marichal Price and Reginald Jackson voted for amending the charter, while George Bailey opposed. 

The charter previously read that overriding a mayoral veto required four votes from the city council, regardless of whether any members of the council were absent or simply abstained from the vote. 

The vote was to amend that provision, allowing three council members to override the veto if one member is out or chooses to abstain. 

“I’m opposed to this charter amendment. I do not think the charter should be amended lightly. I have spoken to our Congressional delegation, and they tell me that, had this been appropriate for local legislation, it never would’ve been carried to the legislature unless it was unanimous, with all members of the council and mayor in favor,” said Hogansville Mayor Bill Stankiewicz. “They will not carry forward that kind of legislation unless it is unanimous. I encourage the council to vote against this change. I think it is unnecessary, minor as it is. We should not be amending the charter lightly.”

Reginald Jackson was the only city council member who discussed the change Monday night.

“I don’t think we are amending it lightly,” Jackson said. “I think we are just trying to cover all bases.”

Talk of changing the charter started in July after Stankiewicz vetoed a July 2 decision by the council to rezone a property on East Main Street from commercial use to residential use. 

It was the first time Stankiewicz had ever vetoed a council decision, which he made official the following day, stating in a press release that the “resolution is not in the best interests of the city.” 

The council attempted to override the mayor’s veto at the next council meeting on July 16, however Bailey was absent from that meeting and only three of the four council members present voted to override the veto, resulting in a failed override. 

On Monday night, Stankiewicz said he will consider vetoing the change to the city charter.

“I reserve the right to take my allotted time to look over the ordinance and sign it or veto it,” Stankiewicz said.