Mayor Prince vetoes raises for first responders

Mayor Jerome Prince

Gary Mayor Jerome Prince won’t allow amendments made by the Gary Common Council to the 2021 budget.

In a letter sent to the council Friday, Mayor Prince issued vetoes for all salary increases approved by the city council for the coming year.

The city council added 3% raises to sworn police and fire personnel as adjustments to the mayor’s 2021 budget in early November.

“There is no doubt that our public safety employees deserve a raise for their hard work,” Mayor Prince said. “But it would be fiscally unwise to provide raises at this time. Specifically speaking, doing so would require funding beyond our current resources.”

“All salaries would be returned to 2020 levels,” Mayor Prince said.

The mayor also vetoed the 3% salary increases the council approved for employees earning $30,000 and under annually.

In a separate veto letter, the mayor disallowed some operating expenses and approved others. Prince vetoed operating budgets for the Motor Vehicle Highway and the County Economic Development Income Tax (CEDIT) funds.

Operating budgets were approved for the Fire Pension, Police Pension, Local Roads and Streets, Park, Cumulative Capital Improvement (CCI), Cumulative Capital Development (CDI), and Local Income Tax Public Safety funds.

The council needs a majority to override the mayor’s vetoes.

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