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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

'Hidden costs' emerge as Cloverdale Council issue

Thursday, June 16, 2011

CLOVERDALE -- For the second time in a row, dispute among board members and other town officials drew Cloverdale's monthly town council meeting into a lengthy event on Tuesday evening.

The meeting stretched a formidable three hours and covered a controversial bill owed to OW Krohn and Associates, a lengthy report by Building Inspector Mark Cassida, and finalizing litigation involving former Town Marshal Charlie Hallam.

The discussion concerning money owed to Krohn and Associates -- a financial consultation firm out of Westfield -- for services rendered sparked a debate between council Vice President Dennis Padgett and clerk-treasurer Cathleen Monaco. Council had issue with the bill in that Krohn consultants -- over the weeks they aided Monaco with her duties as clerk treasure -- refused to give council President Cathy Tipton an estimate of cost.

"I asked several times for a ball-park figure," said Tipton.

The council members -- particularly Padgett -- felt that the cost had been hidden from them until it was time for Cloverdale to receive the bill.

"It's typical government," said Padgett, "You're hiding cost. I don't want to hide cost."

The debate between Padgett and Monaco went on for some time before prompting two public audience members to begin shouting at the council members. Tipton had to eventually use her gavel to quiet matters and bring the session to order.

The motion to pay Krohn and Associates eventually passed, with Tipton and Padgett voting in the negative.

Building Inspector Mark Cassida gave a report updating the many issues of alleys in town and where they end and if the pins currently in place are accurate. The issue had been a staple of the last meeting as well. The council passed a motion to have the alleys surveyed and to wait to further move until surveys revealed true alley boundaries.

Cassida went on to say that the condition of the former Holiday Inn off U.S 231 had become unacceptable.

"It was already a public safety hazard," said Cassida, "It is now a hazard to the businesses around them with the debris falling off of the building."

In the old business section of the meeting, the board was hesitant to finalize a settlement to the controversial litigation with demoted Marshal Hallam.

"My problem with it is what it always was," said council member Terry Puffer, "That is that we didn't do anything wrong and so we should stick to our guns."

Puffer and council member Don Sublett voted in the negative on the motion to accept the settlement. Tipton and council member Larry Fidler both felt that they should take the advice from legal council and insurance to settle even though they too were uncomfortable with the situation.

Padgett remained hesitant for a number of minutes before voting in the affirmative, effectively passing the motion so that the council could "just move on."

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What kind of cryptic news coverage is this? How much was paid to the consultants? Why would you run a headline and spend half the article talking about something and never identify the cost?

Same with the situation with Officer Hallam. There's no explanation. Was the paper too short of print the whole story? Pitiful!

Shouldn't the headline have been "Puffer attends meeting!" I mean, it's the first time he's been there in how long?

-- Posted by sassylass on Thu, Jun 16, 2011, at 6:49 AM

Suspicious? If their legal counsel and Insurance says pay the man, then pay the man. Sounds like 40k was a little cheap. No one should go through the abuse he's gone through.

-- Posted by Keyboard_hero on Thu, Jun 16, 2011, at 7:02 AM

Officer Hallem did nothing wrong, and as far as Mr. Puffer goes he need to just move to Alambama and stay there, no one want him here anyway. He is about as two face as they come, can't never trust him. I've seen him in action.

-- Posted by RPeters on Thu, Jun 16, 2011, at 3:08 PM

agreed RPeters and Keyboard_hero!

-- Posted by helenahandbasket on Thu, Jun 16, 2011, at 4:32 PM

R peter aren't you the one that was fired from the police reserves? Hallam and Peason's little errand boy.

"Take the advice of the town attorney" Right, look where that got Cloverdale.

Let's talk about how the water and sewer rates are likely to go up because the council ordered a new utility truck that they can't afford. It just so happens that Mr. Fidler works for the dealership that they are doing business with.... hmmm. Ethical?

They didn't even ask the clerk treasurer if the town had the money to pay for this. Town attorney advised clerk to come up with the money somehow, even if she had to get a loan.

Board president Cathy Tipsy, now there is a sweet gal, she is so generous. She approved buying Marshal John Chadd a big brand new suv to park in his driveway, along side the Cloverdale police car he also keeps parked in his driveway.

Councilman Puppet Padget your right..... it is typical government, oh wait you are the government!! Wow!!!

-- Posted by captain crunch on Thu, Jun 16, 2011, at 8:00 PM

People of the town of Cloverdale -- please attend the town meetings so you can see where your money is going. Between the settlement with Charlie Hallam and the town attorney, we're going to be broke. That's why they'll soon be raising the water and sewer rates.

I was truly embarrassed at the last town meeting. Padget & Tipton really showed what they were about; it wasn't pretty. Cassida was speaking about a vendor and he really showed his bad attitude -- not good.

We need a board that does right by and for the people. Thanks to Mr. Puffer & Mr. Sublett we do have two members we can be proud of. Thanks also to the Banner Graphic staff writer who printed it the way it happened.

- Bergie

-- Posted by Bergie on Fri, Jun 17, 2011, at 8:46 PM

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