City commissioners release statement after abstaining from budget vote

DAYTON — The Dayton City Commissioners who abstained from voting for the city’s 2023 budget are speaking out as the threat of a shutdown looms.

Commissioners were set to vote on emergency legislations that would’ve approved the city manager’s 2023 recommended budget during their meeting Wednesday night.

The vote didn’t happen after commissioners Darryl Fairchild and Shenise Turner-Sloss abstained from voting.

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Fairchild said at the meeting that he felt the priorities that he brought up in a budget input session were not reflected in the current budget.

During Wednesday’s meeting, Turner-Sloss said she wanted to see more of a “policy-based budget that encourages public participation.”

On Thursday, Fairchild and Turner-Sloss said that they are eager to work with the city manager, mayor and his fellow commissioners on the budget.

“We owe it to our residents to find a solution that addresses the outstanding concerns,” the commissioners said in a joint statement.

They’re statement continued and said that the budget process is directed by the city manager.

“It is the responsibility of the city manager to propose a budget that reflects the commission’s priorities. However, it is the commission’s obligation and fiduciary responsibility to approve a comprehensive budget that is intentional,” the commissioners said. “The city manager and our colleagues are aware of our priorities, and to say otherwise is not constructive. Our hope is that the city manager will propose a budget that reflects the community’s priorities.”

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During a press conference on Thursday, Dayton Mayor Jeffrey Mims said the rest of city commission was “blindsided” by Fairchild and Turner-Sloss’ decision to abstain from the vote.

“It’s reckless, irresponsible and negligent behavior on behalf of commissioners Turner-Sloss and Fairchild with regards to this dangerous game,” Mims said.

If a budget is not approved between now and the end of the year, the City of Dayton would be forced to shut down on January 1. If an agreement is not reached, this would be the first time that the City of Dayton would possibly shut down.

Fairchild and Turner-Sloss are expected to speak more on this Friday afternoon.