Mayor says he'll veto K-9 ordinance passed Monday

New London — Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio said Tuesday he will veto an ordinance passed by the City Council Monday that would require the police department to maintain four police dog teams, calling the ordinance "unnecessary" and "legally out of bounds."

Finizio said the ordinance needs to be signed by the council president and the city clerk. The city clerk would then certify the date that it was presented to his office. The mayor would then have 10 days to veto the ordinance.

The city attorney, Jeff Londregan, advised the council before Monday's vote that, in his opinion, the ordinance violates the city charter.

"The ordinance is also unnecessary because the police union contract already handles the K-9s," said Finizio. "I'm committed to honoring the union contract."

According to the police union contract, the department is required to have at least one police dog. Finizio said the city already benefits from mutual aid agreements with surrounding municipalities and the state police for any additional needs.

He said the city would be better off spending its money to increase staffing levels, purchase Tasers and maintain vehicles.

In June 2012, Finizio vetoed the City Council-approved $82.1 million municipal budget for 2012-13 and then announced that labor negotiations between the city's police and fire unions would not result in any layoffs in either department.

The veto, Finizio said, was needed to correct the budget, which he said contained an overestimate of revenues and needs to "reflect the (labor) agreements and to restore funding for critical city staff."

If Finizio vetoes the K-9 ordinance, the council would have 15 days to override the veto. An override requires six out of the seven councilors voting in the affirmative. While Monday's vote was unanimous, two councilors, Wade A. Hyslop Jr. and Donald Macrino, spoke out against it during the meeting.

i.larraneta@theday.com

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