OGDEN -- Mayor Matthew Godfrey vetoed three sections of the city's fiscal 2010 budget on Tuesday requiring the municipality to maintain the Lorin Farr and Marshall White Center pools along with the El Monte and Mount Ogden golf courses.
Godfrey said in a 13-page memo the sections violate the separation of powers controlling Ogden's council-mayor form of government.
"I am not opposed to the council or individual council members registering their opinions and desires with respect to proposed administrative actions," he wrote to the city council. "I am also not opposed to the council adopting appropriate general rules, policies and procedures of general application that guide the administration in carrying out its executive and administrative functions.
"However, as the elected caretaker of a separate and equal branch of municipal government, I cannot allow the council to co-opt and usurp for itself the executive decision making functions of the office of mayor."
The council-mayor system gives Godfrey administrative and executive powers and the city council legislative responsibilities.
The three policies Godfrey has vetoed were added to the municipality's fiscal $120.4 million budget for 2010 adopted last month by the city council. The veto does not threaten any funding in the budget.
City Council Vice Chairwoman Caitlin K. Gochnour said Wednesday she's disappointed by Godfrey's veto.
"The mayor can create contracts without public process or any council involvement, so the only tool the council can use is the budget," she said. "I believe our pools and golf courses deserve to be protected."
City Councilman Brandon Stephenson said he isn't surprised by the veto. "The mayor made it pretty clear that he was going to issue a veto.
"I don't believe these policies will fix the problem. I just think they will create additional conflict between the administration and council."
City Council Chairwoman Amy Wicks said in an e-mail she had not yet reviewed Godfrey's veto memo. Wicks also declined to predict whether there may be enough council votes to override the veto.
It will take a super- majority of the city council -- at least five of its seven members -- to overturn Godfrey's veto.
The veto is set to be officially presented to the city council at its meeting Tuesday, said Bill Cook, the council's executive director. However, a vote on the veto won't likely occur until the council's Aug. 4 meeting, he said.
Godfrey said he's hopeful the city council won't override the veto but declined to say what other steps may be taken if it does.
"I hope reasonable minds will prevail," he said in a phone interview. "I'm going to stay focused on this step. We have laid out the case very well by explaining why this action was inappropriate. I hope they (the city council) will be thoughtful and reasonable and their response will be to do what's right for the people of Ogden."
The veto marks the fourth time that Godfrey has challenged a city council vote since taking office in 2000.
In 2008, he vetoed a city council ordinance to allow construction of an office and education center adjacent to a Hispanic-themed market that was proposed at the corner of 24th Street and Monroe Boulevard. The council failed to muster enough votes to overturn the veto.
Godfrey also issued line-item budget vetoes in 2000 and 2004.
Godfrey's veto on Wednesday attempts to remove a city council policy that requires Ogden-Weber Community Action Partnership, which took over management of the Marshall White Center earlier this month, to maintain the facility's current services and indoor pool.
"The council-mayor form of government delegates only to the mayor the right to execute, amend or enforce city contracts," says Godfrey's veto memo. "The Ogden City Council has no such power."
Godfrey has also vetoed two other policies in the 2010 budget that call for the city to keep open the Lorin Farr pool and El Monte and Mount Ogden golf courses.