FREETOWN — Political infighting is a almost accustomed allotment of active a government. Every now and again an affair will apparent that has the abeyant to affect how ability in the approaching is administered.
Case in point: A bill generated by a bounded bell-ringer of $1,587 for casework rendered to Freetown’s Finance Lath went contributed for about bristles months. The Lath of Selectmen banned to accept payment. The affidavit for this adjournment anxious the purpose of the transaction and the agency to which antecedent funds were acquired.
Residents bethink a arguable commodity voted on at the June 4 anniversary Town Affair that would accept accustomed allotment a $5 million-plus waterline forth Chace Road. The angle afraid the Finance Committee.
“You charge to accept the role of the Finance Committee. As authentic by law, its job is to acquaint the voters as to the amount of whatever activity is out there,” said George Grunwald, lath chairman, who went on almanac with his statements in July. “Our obligation is to the Freetown taxpayers so they apperceive what they’re voting for.”
Despite accessible affairs hosted by the selectmen, accompanying with articulate criticism to the waterline by association active on or a Chace Road, the Finance Lath didn’t accept association broadcast beyond added areas of East Freetown and Assonet knew abundant about the costs and banking implications of the proposal.
A few weeks afore the Town Meeting, the Lath apprenticed a vendor, Davol Printing based in Taunton, to aftermath mailable pamphlets, one for anniversary domiciliary in Freetown, anecdotic the costs associated with the waterline.
The waterline angle at the June 4 Town Affair was voted down. “Once bodies are informed, they appearance absorption and appearance up,” said Grunwald.
So what’s the big deal? Well, because a allocation of the up-front costs for the mailers were allocated from the town’s assets funds.
Reserve funds are set a for emergencies and abrupt expenditures. According to Grunwald, the Finance Lath has ascendancy to abjure assets funds after allotment from the Lath of Selectmen. The lath saw it has an obligation to advertise the mailers and acquaint the public.
“It wasn’t an emergency, but it was an abrupt amount because aback the account was issued aftermost year, we should accept been able to account for our needs, but we didn’t apperceive about a $5 actor catechism activity to vote. The waterline was absolutely unexpected,” explained Grunwald.
Selectmen see it as a abuse of law and ethics.
“The affair is with how the lath went about acquisition money. They transferred it from the assets fund. It was an incorrect use of funds,” said Charles Sullivan, lath member, at the July 16 meeting.
“As I see it, there was no emergency or abrupt circumstance,” said Robert Jose, lath chair, additionally at the July 16 meeting.
The lath remained conflicted for months. By acknowledging advantageous the antithesis for the amount of bearing the mailers, they feared they were aback acceptance the accomplishments of the Finance Committee, which could set a antecedent for added departments and committees not afterward rules aback they accept they accept acceptable intentions.
“I’m not advocating not advantageous the bill, but we accept to achieve this; otherwise; every added administration can article to us. We’d be aperture Pandora’s Box and rolling aback policies,” said Sullivan in July.
Meanwhile, the business apprenticed to aftermath the mailers, Davol Printing, remained bent in the middle. The board, afflicted over putting a bell-ringer through all this, accustomed advantageous the antithesis at its Sept. 17 meeting.
“This is a baby business aloof aggravating to do business like anybody else. We’re backbreaking Davol Printing, not the Finance Committee, by continuing to do this,” said Jose.
What’s larboard now is the breach amid the selectmen and the Finance Committee. Selectmen on Sept. 17 discussed how to move forward, and they agreed that a akin of blank was the ytic step.
“This shows you can’t be a broker and accept the keys to the basement at the aforementioned time. There has to be a assignment here. This is applesauce to me,” said Lisa Pacheco, lath member.
Echoed Charles Sullivan, “They’re declared to be the town’s ysis and balance. Where’s their ysis and balance?”
The lath accustomed a motion to accredit the affair to the state’s Administration of Revenue for review.
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