A divided Bryant city council takes vote of 'no confidence' in Mayor Dabbs

BRYANT (KATV) -The Bryant city council took a vote of no confidence in the mayor{}Thursday night{}after heated discussions over an unfinished budget.

The city of Bryant is just one week away from a state-mandated deadline to pass this year's budget.

The meeting ended abruptly and with Mayor{}Jill{}Dabbs{}on one side and her board of directors clearly on the other.

For weeks the city has been scrambling to put together a budget for this year even voting on a proposal to essentially pass a "blind budget". But even that proved to be unsuccessful{}during the council meeting Thursday{}night.

The chief financial officer left abruptly late last year making it extremely difficult for the board to know exactly where they stand financially. Which may explain why they ended up with a budget that left them in the negative. Meaning they have to go back to the drawing board leading to the surprising vote of no confidence.

The board has until next Friday, January 31st,{}to pass a budget. They have a legal obligation to do so. The mayor told Channel 7 they'll have to pass a "blind budget"{}which they can amend within 30 to 60 days.

The mayor sent Channel 7 a statement shortly after the newscast saying the following:

"With a vote of no confidence {}certain members of council only made public tonight what the citizens of Bryant have known to be true since I took office and that is they do not support me. {}Despite that well known fact I will continue to lead to the best of my ability, putting the citizens first and working every day to deserve the confidence they placed in me when they elected me Mayor. {}

{}I am proud of all we have accomplished in the past three years. {}The temporary challenges we are faced with in the finance department as a result of a software platform change do not diminish all of the good things going on to benefit the citizens of Bryant. {}They simply give politically opportunistic council members a chance to sling a little mud. {}

{}The financial department has made good progress this week towards finalizing the 2013 financials. This has been a challenge following a software platform change during 2013 and in addition our previous finance director resigning abruptly. {}

{}The City Council was presented a budget in December and chose not to hold their normal end of year workshops in light of the end of year financials not being up to date in December. {}This is unfortunate, I don't like it any more than they do but when you change out software a city the size that we are it can lead to these types of challenges.{}

{}I am optimistic the end of year financials will be ready for council to review in approximately 30 days and we will be able to put this challenge turned media circus to rest."

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