READING, Pa. – Reading City Council voted Tuesday to override Mayor Wally Scott's veto of a bill that authorizes the transfer of $30,000 from the city's public works department to the ethics board to cover the costs for the remainder of 2019.
Scott's two-word reason for vetoing the bill was "political board."
The board also expressed frustration Tuesday night over the fact that Scott has neglected to execute all the necessary agreements between Reading and the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office, which would allow the city to apply for grants and funds for the city's historic districts.
"We were supposed to sign off for the recertification to participate in this program, and that was supposed to have taken place in May or June," said Councilwoman Johanny Cepeda-Freytiz, "so we have missed the deadline to do so, and it jeopardizes our historical area with the opportunity to apply for funding."
Councilwoman Marcia Goodman-Hinnershitz said Reading's historic districts are one of the city's greatest assets.
"I am in complete disbelief about why the authorization wouldn't be signed by the mayor," she said.
Goodman-Hinnershitz said the council doesn't have the power to force the mayor to sign. She said he would sign it if he had "any conscience about trying to move the city forward."
"It would be great if the mayor were sitting here at the table and we could ask him in a meaningful way," Goodman-Hinnershitz added. "That has not happened, so all we can do is express our concern by supporting this resolution."
The resolution requests that the mayor sign the document.
Council President Jeffrey S. Waltman asked Osmer Deming, Reading's managing director, to ask the mayor for feedback as to whether he is going to sign it. If the answer is negative, he suggested asking for an extension at least until January.