DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Dayton City Commissioners passed an emergency budget ordinance following a special commission meeting Saturday. This comes after two commissioners abstained from voting on the 2023 budget proposal which sparked talks of a possible city government shutdown.

The Dayton City Commission voted unanimously to pass an emergency ordinance moving the budget process forward after a nearly three and a half hour-long meeting. In order to reach an agreement, the commissioners had to also agree on a compromise.

“I’m relieved,” Dayton City Commissioner Darryl Fairchild said. “I’m really grateful that our residents and our employees don’t have to spend another second worrying about the running of the city.”

A special commission meeting was called for Saturday, December 10, 2022. The commissioners spoke about the proposed ordinances and resolutions regarding the 2023 budgets. Dayton City Commission discussed the issues, called a few recesses, and opened the floor to the comments and questions of the public.

Just before the conclusion of the meeting, commissioners went on a third recess to debate whether to stay until 12 a.m. to discuss and vote. Commissioners Fairchild and Turner-Sloss came out of the recess with a compromise.

The commissioners decided to allocate $1 million from a Community Development Block Grant to be put toward the youth of Dayton. That was enough to get all four commissioners to agree to pass the emergency ordinance.

“The people are happy, at least in this room that saw us come together to solve still problems that I think probably could have been avoided had we paid more attention to each other in the process,” Mayor Jeffrey Mims, Jr. said following the meeting.

The controversy started at a commission meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022. Commissioners Darryl Fairchild and Shenise Turner-Sloss abstained from the 2023 budget vote.

Without their votes, the budget proposal could still pass, but there would be a 30 day hold. That hold would have meant the city would not have been able to spend money at the start of 2023, including paying city employees.

The other commissioners, city manager, and mayor said they were blindsided. Press conferences were held over the next two days with both sides pointing fingers at the other.

Mims said the city will change how it approaches the budget process moving forward by adjusting the timeline and asking the community for more input.

“I just will promise you that this will never happen again,” Mims said.

Now that the preliminary budget passed, the commission will have until February to iron out all the specific items within the budget.