BERLIN — Deputy Mayor Brenden Luddy is calling on Board of Finance Chairperson Sam Lomaglio to resign, saying in a letter that he “is using the Finance Board chairmanship in a way that is not in the best interest of Berlin.”
Lomaglio, who has been critical of the council’s handling of the budget process, and said Luddy’s letter is an attempt to discredit him as he considers a run for mayor.
Luddy, said he did not know fellow Republican Lomaglio was contemplating a mayoral run. He submitted his letter to the Berlin Citizen this week.
The dispute stems from issues before the Board of Finance – the upgrading of bleachers at Sage Park for $223,000; floor repairs at the Senior Center; and the renovation of a McGee Middle School classroom for special education students. The bleachers are believed to pose a safety hazard.
The money would come from $248,000 leftover in the contingency account.
During the public comment portion of the June 4 Town Council meeting, Lomaglio said the finance board would not approve funding for the projects unless an allocation was made to replace two police cruisers for about $73,000 and $10,000 was set aside for the removal of tree stumps on town land.
The finance board originally sought the replacement of four police cruisers. The council reduced that to two during budget negotiations.
"We won't support anything unless we get the stumps and the police cruisers," Lomaglio told the council.
If the fund transfer the council was seeking was for safety reasons, it should have been included in the budget the council passed on May 22, Lomaglio said.
Luddy said he could have supported the changes Lomaglio sought had they been brought to the council in the proper way – adding them to the council agenda.
While Lomaglio left the bleachers, senior center floor repairs and classroom renovation off the finance board’s June 11 agenda, he said individual board members can add the items.
In his letter, Luddy said Lomaglio has a history of attempting to strong arm the council.
He wrote: “I feel that Mr. Lomaglio is no longer capable of serving in his capacity as the Finance Board Chair, or of representing Berlin in these tough economic times, and should be replaced on the BOF with a new Chairman before the next budget season starts.”
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