Toledo Mayor Mike Bell made good on his promise to veto Toledo City Council's legislation on providing benefits to domestic partners of city employees.
The Mayor's office released this statement:
Toledo Mayor Michael P. Bell today invoked the executive power of legislative veto on Amended Ordinance 226-12.
"As introduced by the Bell administration, the legislation would have provided health, hospitalization, dental and vision benefits to the domestic partners of employees in the City's health care plan. Regrettably, the amended legislation passed by council violates Toledo's City Charter, obscuring the separation of executive and legislative powers by requiring the Mayor to reopen contract negotiations with a bargaining unit unaffected by the legislation.
Council has no authority under Toledo's Charter or the Ohio Revised Code to negotiate or require the Mayor to negotiate contracts, as they are powers of administrative management delegated to the executive branch of government.
Before the legislation was passed at Tuesday's meeting of Council, members were expressly advised by the City's Director of Law that the proposed amendment was a violation of Charter Section 30. The legal opinion was ultimately disregarded and the legislation amended, resulting in policy that was impossible to enforce within the confines of the law.
The Mayor will reintroduce legislation to provide health, hospitalization, dental and vision benefits to the domestic partners of employees in the City's health care plan at the June 12, 2012 agenda review meeting."
Toledo City Council has approved a measure that provides health care benefits to domestic partners of city employees but Mayor Mike Bell said he will veto the legislation because it includes an amendment regarding union negotiations.
Tuesday council voted 9 to 3 to offer benefits to city employees who are in relationships with members of the same sex or unmarried heterosexual partners.
Councilmen George Sarantou, Tom Waniewski and Rob Ludeman voted against the proposal.
But at the meeting, Bell indicated he will veto the legislation because it includes an amendment that reopens city negotiations with Local 92 Firefighters, something that he said the city law director believes is illegal.