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New Castle Co. Council veto override vote fails

Anne Hoffman/ Delaware Public Media

New Castle County Councilmember George Smiley did not get the super majority needed Tuesday to override County Executive Tom Gordon's veto of his pay raise plan for Council staff.

Gordon vetoed an ordinance in late March that would have allowed high level council employees to receive pay increases tied to the Consumer Price Index.

There was controversy over whether or not that veto was legal, but earlier this month County Attorney Bernard Pepukayi delivered a legal opinion declaring that Gordon’s veto did in fact hold up to legal scrutiny.


Councilmember Smiley said he was disappointed for council staff.

"They give their all. They’re the front line for that resident of New Castle County who’s been everywhere else, is frustrated, makes that phone call, they’re the buffer. They help get things done," he said.


Some members of Council, like Jae Street and John Cartier, argued that the pay increases were necessary as prices continue to rise. But Councilmember Robert Weiner voted against the veto override.

"Council staff are well-paid in light of their comp time, their benefits, their vacation schedule," said Councilmember Weiner.


If the veto override had passed, Smiley planned to add language about paying for cost of the legislation - around $12,000 - from his office budget.


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