Tennessean reporter Michael Cass blogged this afternoon that Councilman Josh Stites was right; a no vote on final reading was a vote for the Mayor's budget. He confirmed the facts with the Council's attorney Jon Cooper. Below is an excerpt:
At first I thought this explanation was just spin. I figured surely the council could have spent the next 11 days coming up with an alternate budget if it had rejected McGuire’s plan.
But council attorney Jon Cooper confirmed the scenario Stites laid out.
“Once the chair’s substitute was ‘accepted’ by the council (the first vote on the budget last night), it became the only budget pending before the council,” Cooper wrote in an email today. “If it had failed, the mayor’s budget would have gone into effect automatically July 1.”
So everyone who voted against McGuire’s plan was essentially voting for the mayor’s, no matter how much they might have disliked it.