In a meeting that lasted nearly four hours, the Town Council Wednesday night discussed and questioned flaws in procedure that led to the Jeb Walker pension vote and $256,000 of unappropriated money spent on an air conditioning unit called a "chiller" at East School.
The Council also agreed to go ahead with an attempt to get a state grant for added sidewalks and took an informal non-binding vote in support of other projects that still need to go through the Board of Finance, such as a better radio system for the police and a new fire truck for the fire department.
The meeting offered those who voted in favor of the pension amendments a chance for a public mea culpa, with council members who voted in favor of the changes, with the exception of Kenneth Campbell, explaining why they now would have voted against them.
Former Chief Financial Officer Gary Conrad again became a lightning rod for frustration, as the Council learned that he had instructed project managers for improvements to the schools to go ahead with a replacement of the East chiller, even though doing so exceeded the budget and the amount appropriated by the town. After deliberation the Council decided to appropriate the money, if only to pay the contractors who have not been paid for 120 days since completion of the project.
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