Pelham Town Council says no public meeting after all

Pelham Town Council. FILE PHOTO

In reversal of previous commitment, Town will not publicly answer questions about controversial KPMG audits

BY VOICE STAFF

Despite having previously indicated that the Town would host a public meeting, during which residents could ask questions about KPMG’s reports on Town finances, Pelham Town Council voted Monday night not to do so.

Councillor Gary Accursi initiated discussion on the matter, saying, “I can think of no other questions that could come forward. It is time that we move forward with the governance of this municipality.”

Accursi subsequently proposed that Council “not move forward with the public meeting as originally proposed.”

Councillor Catherine King seconded Accursi’s suggestion, saying that she had provided comment on the matter in previous weeks, and had been “brutally attacked by certain members of the public.”

“Enough is enough,” King said. “We need to move on.”

Councillor Richard Rybiak expressed some hesitation, saying that he would prefer to hold off on a decision until after KPMG’s report is made public. (CAO Darren Ottaway asserted that KPMG had provided the document to the Town on Monday afternoon.)

Councillor Peter Papp said that he concurred with Rybiak’s remarks.

Councillor John Durley wholly supported Accursi, saying, “For ten months we’ve gone through the process four or five different ways. I think that emotion has taken over from actual intellect.”

“There’s nothing that we intentionally did that was wrong,” said Durley. “It’s been proven six times.”

Mayor Dave Augustyn said that there were other opportunities for Council to interact with the public, and suggested that the continued scrutiny of Town’s finances was motivated by other factors.

“There’s something going on here. I’m not going to say what it is. But there is something going on,” said Augustyn.

Despite their earlier reservations, Papp and Rybiak joined with the rest of Council, which voted unanimously not to hold a public meeting at which residents could ask questions about the Town’s finances.

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