Carter County

Carter County mayor explains decision to veto budget

CARTER COUNTY, Tenn. - For the second year in a row, Carter County Mayor Leon Humphrey has vetoed the budget passed by the Carter County commission.

A big part of the budget was devoted to the proposed middle school, and that is where Humphrey is at odds with the commission.

Humphrey says the commission violated state law by altering the amount of tax money devoted to debt service after the budget committee had held a public hearing and passed a tax rate.

The mayor also opposes borrowing more money to pay for the new middle school that would be built near Stoney Creek.

Humphrey says the county should take smaller steps that they can afford, and that the commission left him no choice but to veto the budget. "As mayor of this county, knowing that the law is being violated, at no point in time can I ignore that," he said. "I have to take a stand on the side of the law."

Tom Bowers is the chairman of the county commission. "I can't say I was surprised by his veto, but I am surprised that he would veto it and be such a detriment to the school system of Carter County," he told us.

Humphrey says he is not against the schools, and his quick veto will give the commission more time to rethink its decision.

A specially called meeting will be held on July 31 at 9 a.m. to work on the budget.

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