Question Concerning Vouchers Leads to Argument Among Council Members [Updated 10:15]

A question regarding a bill on the list of pre-paid vouchers led to an argument at Monday’s council meeting.

Before voting on the list of pre-paid vouchers, council member Judi Dici asked if two telephone bills, both labeled to the same police officer and in the amount of $17.85, were accidental duplicates. Borough Manager Bob Villella responded that he would look into the matter.

Later, council member Marilyn Mancini requested that a motion to adopt the Civil Service Rules and Regulations be tabled as she had received her copy on Friday. All members voted “yes” to postpone except George Celli.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Celli requested that council members ask Villella questions on Friday regarding bills. The list of vouchers is typically sent to council members at the end of the workday on Friday.

“I’m not going to call Mr. Villella on the weekend,” Dici responded, adding that Villella wouldn’t have the information at his house.

Celli responded that council members could call Friday and leave a voicemail for Villella to call back on Monday. He added that since there are hundreds of bills on voucher list, Villella is unable to answer a question off the top of his head.

“Nobody is accusing Mr. Villella of anything,” Dici said. “The visitors and the media should be informed on questions regarding the bills, because they’re the ones paying them.”

Mancini also added that, despite the meeting with the Administration/Personnel Committee on the Civil Service Rules and Regulations taking place on June 9, she had not received her copy until June 17.

In addition, the committee, comprising Celli, Brad Ovial and Michelle Lamenza, had also met on June 9 to discuss a Police Canines/Handlers policy. Adopting this policy was tabled prior to the council meeting because Sgt. Michael McBride, the department’s K9 officer, hadn’t had the opportunity to look at the policy yet.

“The meeting was advertised in the paper and all council members were emailed about it,” Celli said.

The argument ended when MacDonald moved the meeting forward. MacDonald, who had attended the committee meeting, said he performed an extensive analysis of the Civil Service Rules and Regulations in October 2015.

“We can look at things to death, but we have to get something accomplished sometime,” MacDonald commented in a phone interview on Wednesday.

Update: Information regarding the Civil Service Rules and Regulations and Police Canines/Handlers policies added at 10:15 a.m.

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