The Common Council, after hearing 90 minutes of impassioned pleas, voted to sustain funding for the Arts Coordinator, Environmental and Planning Specialist, and a librarian, along with several other minor programs.
The majority on the Council was clearly swayed by the large crowd of people who came out to support the arts, the environment, and the library. Thirty people spoke, most of them testifying to the importance of the arts for the community.
After the public spoke, Councilman Daley defended the Council's support for the arts, the environment, and the library, by pointing to the overall size of the appropriation that was given. He conceded, however, that for the sake of continuity, he would be supporting the funding of the three positions.
Councilman Pessina spoke at length about how important the arts were to him to the city, and especially to the children, "Arts play a pivotable role ... I, for one, have always supported the arts ... I have always advocated for children since the day I put the badge on my chest."
Councilman Blanchard said, "Arts ... are the cornerstone of the community."
Sebastian Giuliano seemed to acknowledge that the Council had made a mistake in not funding the three positions, "Stuff falls through the cracks all the time." He nevertheless voted against the mayor's budget veto, claiming that the budget as vetoed was not balanced. He was corrected by Gerry Daley, who said that the result of the mayor's veto would be a budget that was budgeted to the nearest rounding of the tax rate.
The 7 to 3 vote was a reversal of position for most of the council members who were present. The two who voted AGAINST the council's proposed budget on May 14, voted to protect that same budget from the mayor's veto on May 29th. And 7 of the 10 who had been FOR the council's proposed budget on May 14, voted to agree with the mayor's veto on May 29th.