The Westfield City Council overrode Mayor Andy Cook’s veto of the campaign contributions transparency resolution passed during the June 14 council meeting. The council overrode the veto with a 5-2 vote with councilors Scott Willis and Jake Gilbert voting against the override.
The previously approved resolution “strongly suggested” that councilors disclose major campaign contributions of more than $1,000 prior to a vote involving one of the contributors. During the June 14 meeting, city attorney Manny Herceg called the action illegal, as state statute prohibits cities from establishing ordinances when the state already has authority in the matter. There are already certain campaign laws in place at the state level, so the council introduced the item as a resolution that allows councilors to vote but asks them to disclose the information first.
In what is also known as a pocket veto, Cook never signed the vote, which made the vote void since the mayor must sign the resolution within 10 days of it passing the council. The council overrode Cook’s veto at the June 29 meeting.
Prior to the vote, Herceg again voiced his concern with the legality of the vote. He said even after taking another look at the resolution, his opinion remained unchanged.
“State law completely occupies campaign finance and campaign contributions, and therefore this is illegal and invalid for what it’s worth,” Herceg said.
Council President Mike Johns called for a vote anyway, and the resolution passed. For more, visit westfield.in.gov.