By a vote of 8-6 on Thursday, a divided Urban County Council decided to table a resolution that would have required the council to approve the city's collective bargaining contracts with police, fire and community corrections.
Mary Sharp, a labor lawyer speaking on behalf of the Fraternal Order of Police and the International Association of Fire Fighters, told the council that it is illegal for the council to approve the collective bargaining contracts. Also, the state General Assembly gave the responsibility of approving the contracts to the mayor, Sharp said.
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Councilman Ed Lane, who introduced the resolution, said the council should review the contracts because they amount to about 40 percent of the general fund, the city's main legislative account.
The only real authority the council has is to "budget, spend and invest the taxpayers money," Lane said. "And I feel that any council member who does not want to carry out his or her duties of reviewing and approving all expenditures as required under the city's charter should resign from the council."
Council members voting favor of tabling the resolution were K.C. Crosbie, Dick DeCamp, Chuck Ellinger II, Linda Gorton, Jim Gray, Peggy Henson, Jay McChord, Kevin Stinnett. Council members opposed to tabling the item were Julian Beard, Don Blevins Jr., Tom Blues, Andrea James, Ed Lane and George Myers. David Stevens was absent.