Harrison said the new budget is based on a "fantasyland" idea of Cumberland's financial situation, cutting back where more is needed and not raising revenue even enough to stave off losses from inflation.
City council members Bill Hodges and Norma Bowyer say they'll vote to override Harrison's vetoes at a special called meeting this week.
In their eyes, the budget is fine.
Harrison, they say, vetoed it out of arrogance and disrespect for the city council.
"He wants to keep the old budget so he can do as he pleases," said Bowyer. "I don't think he's making one bit of effort to work with us."
Hodges said the mayor's veto "wasn't unexpected."
"He really believes he has total dominion over his kingdom," Hodges said.
In his memorandum to the council, Harrison outlined five major problems he has with the budget.
According to Harrison's memo: The budget does not provide enough revenue to operate the city and does not address the short-term debt issues facing Cumberland; the city is critically shorthanded for labor in all departments, and public safety is decreased with this budget; the budget does not adequately take into account the fact that nearly one half of the fiscal year has been operated under the previous budget, and the budget that passed contained major changes that were not fully disclosed in public meetings.
"It's not a realistic budget. It's not workable," Harrison said.
Though he sees that the council will likely override his decision to veto the budget passed unanimously, minus council member Greg Collier Harrison said he decided to use his veto power anyway.
"At least I've given my input," he said. "The council has a choice, to develop a realistic, workable budget that addresses the city's needs instead of creating more problems, or they can continue to live in the make-believe world that is this budget."
In vetoing the spending limit, or procurement ordinance, passed last week by the council, Harrison declared that administration of city funds is his responsibility, not the council's.
The spending limit requires Harrison to seek council approval for any spending over $200.
His comments along with that veto challenge the constitutionality of the new ordinance, saying it is a breach of the separation of powers between the mayor and city council. Also, the wording of the ordinance is vague and confusing, according to Harrison.
"The city council speaks by way of its budget," he wrote. "Any policy the council adopts that seeks to give the council control of minute details of spending and administration or that is so vague as to cause confusion in the separation of duties is a direct violation of the separation of powers and the intent thereof."
Warning the council of "tremendous personal liability," Harrison said the spending ordinance restricts his ability to deal with emergencies.
The ordinance contains no language saying that in an emergency the mayor can spend without council approval.
Hodges said that Harrison's objection to the spending limit is "laughable."
"There's not one minute bit of truth in it. His arrogance is again showing," Hodges said.
Cumberland has been operating under last year's budget while the mayor decided whether he would veto the new one.
If the council overrides his veto, the budget which calls for the layoff of one police officer and cuts in overtime across the board will be published and go into effect immediately.