4/16/2014

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Lemon’s last council meeting as Union Gap mayor

Lemon’s last council meeting as Union Gap mayor
UNION GAP, Wash. -- It’s Jim Lemon's last city council meeting as mayor. He was voted out earlier this month in favor of a strong city manager, but he will remain as a council member. One of his last acts was to veto the move to can the codes enforcement officer, but Monday night, council members quickly overrode that veto.

“It's not about the person it’s about the money unfortunately. We may see some small amount of reduction in services time but we all have to make sacrifices," said councilmember Roger Wentz.

Councilmembers unanimously decided to override the mayor's veto to keep the code enforcement building inspector a full time position.

“Because of the budget we have to find every way we can to save money we are spending more than we are receiving and we have to become responsible," said Wentz.

Lemon understands but does have some concerns.

“We don't even have a graffiti person anymore so I just fear that there’s going to be a lot of people upset saying hey why isn't anything getting done," said Union Gap’s mayor Jim Lemon

Monday night may have been Jim Lemon’s last council meeting as city mayor. And while he was unable to keep the code enforcement position from being cut to part time, he did use his power to veto another item on the agenda.

The topic of controversy was Union Gap's tourism promoter. Currently, there is no objective way to define how much benefit it is providing to the city.

“We're still trying to evaluate it and come up with a better evaluation tool to make sure we are getting everything we can out of our money," said Wentz.

“I vetoed that and it will come back and it will probably be 4 to 4 because I will be voting with the other 3 probably. And no one can break that tie because a manager can't break that tie. Formerly a mayor could break a tie and so it'll just be interesting. I'm actually looking at this as a new challenge," said Lemon.

And it will be quite the change especially with this new form of city government.

Lemon says tonight was bittersweet. While he thoroughly enjoyed all the staff who served with him, he says he is looking forward to once again being a part of council.
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