By Josh Resnek
A controversial $12,500 car allowance the mayor sought and got last year after threatening the city council was to have been the subject of discussion at Monday’s meeting of the Ways and Means Committee headed by Councilor Wayne Matewsky.
The mayor’s presence had been sought by Councilor Mike McLaughlin but even McLaughlin failed to show because of a prior personal commitment.
In fact, Matewsky was the only member of the Ways and Means Committee to appear.
“Without a quorum, all questions before the committee die…for now,” said Matewsky.
Matewsky said the motion for the council to discuss the mayor’s car allowance could likely come up after January 6 when the new council is convened and the question about the car allowance can be raised again but this time in front of new members.
The mayor badgered the council into awarding him $12,500 for a car allowance some months back.
Only Councilor Fred Capone, believed to be considering a run for mayor, spoke against the measure at the time.
When several councilors questioned his motives for the $12,500, the mayor grew angry.
“Are you going to do this to me…after all I’ve done for this city?” the mayor asked.
“You do this to me, wait and see what I do to the council when its budget time,” the mayor replied.
The mayor said he needed the funds to rent or to buy and automobile to get him around the city.
He is not believed to have done either – but he has collected the funds for himself according to those familiar with the city’s spending for the past year.
A number of councilors and councilors elect have all expressed wonderment at this appropriation.
It is believed by council observers that the $12,500 allowance will be an expense almost impossible to approve again for the mayor in the new political configuration which will give shape and form to the council’s direction.
McLaughlin is believed to have spoken with the mayor about this issue recently.
It is believed McLaughlin will be questioning the car allowance when the new council convenes in January.