Mayor Perrin issues first veto in office, over professional services ordinance

Mayor Perrin issues first veto in office, over professional services ordinance
Jonesboro Municipal Center (Source: KAIT-TV)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin said Friday he has issued his first veto in office, vetoing an ordinance that would require council members to participate in the selection of professional services contracts, citing advice from legal counsel.

In a statement, Perrin said he was not signing the ordinance approved by council members Feb. 5.

“I have not been just advised, but warned, from some of the best legal minds who specialize in Arkansas city government that this ordinance is not in the best interest of the city of Jonesboro,” Perrin said in the statement. “Our city of Jonesboro and Arkansas Municipal League attorneys strongly advise me to veto this ordinance, based on the vulnerability to lawsuits as it conflicts an executive task with a legislative body.”

The ordinance was approved Tuesday by a 7-5 vote.

Perrin said he also received a letter from City Attorney Carol Duncan, saying the ordinance would require city employees to violate state law.

Perrin said in the statement while he respects the opinions of council members on the issue, he supports another way of accomplishing the goal without placing the city in legal jeopardy.

“Together, we will work to create an ordinance that will replace the existing ordinance, and not only will it guarantee transparency and fairness, it will be in accordance with state law,” Perrin said.

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