With time dwindling before Monday night’s City Council meeting, a budget meeting Monday afternoon showed that the council may be no closer to an agreement.
Members are expected to vote on the multimillion-dollar spending plan that has been a point of contention for weeks.
There was tension in the afternoon meeting that lasted well over an hour. Afterwards, council members were frustrated.
“The guard rails are off this conversation,” Mayor Anthony Foxx said.
Monday afternoon’s meeting had plenty of strong statements and outbursts. Councilman John Autry urged the council to support the streetcar extension.
“This is time to be courageous and bold and to take it and make it happen,” he said.
One group of council members presented a plan that would allow the city to keep funding for the streetcar extension, but would cut some other projects and reduce the proposed property tax hike to just under 3 cents.
That plan was voted down in a straw vote.
Councilman Michael Barnes presented his plan with massive cuts, including the streetcar, and a proposed property tax hike of about 2.4 cents. He said the plan, which has been tweaked slightly since he presented it late last week, has gotten compromises from several council members.
In a straw vote, council members voted six to four in favor of the proposal, but Foxx immediately vetoed the plan. The mayor’s veto signaled a willingness to possibly block the vote during Monday night’s meeting.
Councilwoman Lawana Mayfield called the process unproductive.
“We heard two proposals and there was absolutely no negotiating around this table whatsoever, to even try to move the dial,” Mayfield said.
Barnes said he will still present it at Monday night’s meeting for an official vote.
Councilwoman Claire Fallon said she supports Barnes’ proposal.
The Council needs at least seven votes to override a veto from the mayor.