ALTON - A veto recently issued by Alton Mayor David Goins is likely to be challenged by Alderwoman Carolyn MacAfee tonight, who recently claimed the veto is “illegal.” MacAfee has stated previously she intends to challenge the mayor’s veto with a motion to reconsider, which the council is likely to vote on tonight.

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“We voted … to adopt the ordinance, so as far as I’m concerned, your veto is illegal,” MacAfee said. “It’s probably never going to happen that we get a Code Enforcement Director. I’m just complaining that the process was not done right.”

The item Mayor Goins vetoed would have required separate full-time directors for the departments of Code Enforcement and Building & Zoning, which are both currently led by director Greg Caffey. Alderwoman Betsy Allen proposed the item, saying both positions required too many responsibilities for any one person to handle, and she and MacAfee both cited constituents asking for more assistance.

Mayor Goins said as part of his official veto message that he doesn’t believe hiring more directors will solve the city’s code enforcement problem.

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“You’re going to be paying a salary and a pension and everything to somebody that’s just going to sit behind a desk,” Mayor Goins said then. “We don’t actually need a director, we need two more people that can go out there and do the job of code enforcement.”

Last night, MacAfee claimed Mayor Goins vetoed the item on Oct. 11, 2023, and that the council should’ve been allowed to vote on it at their next meeting later that same month - however, the item was not actually vetoed until November. Instead, it passed its first reading on Oct. 11, 2023 along a 4-3 vote, with Aldermen Brown, Elliott, and Keener voting “no.” It then passed its second reading on Nov. 8, 2023 on a 5-2 vote, with Elliott and Keener voting “no,” but was then vetoed by the mayor just a few minutes later.

MacAfee first proposed challenging the veto shortly after it was issued on Nov. 8, 2023. She made a motion to reconsider, which was shot down by City Attorney Rodney Caffey, who said the item needed to be “posted” on the agenda of the next meeting, which is tonight’s City Council meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023. The veto is listed on tonight’s agenda, but MacAfee said Caffey “strong-armed” them into waiting.

“Rodney Caffey sat up there and strong-armed us that night … and told us that we had to wait until the next meeting, which is tomorrow night,” MacAfee said at the most recent meeting. “[That’s] not right, I’m sorry. Council gets backed down on so many things anymore - this is wrong. This is wrong.”

MacAfee is likely to make another motion to reconsider tonight, which would then be up for a vote. The council could then override the mayor’s veto with a two-thirds vote, which would require at least five members of the council to vote in favor. Catch the vote live tonight at 6:30 p.m. on Riverbender.com/video/live or the Riverbender.com Facebook page.

A full recording of the Alton Committee of the Whole meeting is available at the top of this story, on the Riverbender.com Facebook page or on Riverbender.com/video.

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