East Bridgewater Selectmen Bob Condon let it all come out and surprised many residents with unknown town information. Selectmen Condon held a public forum Thursday night to get information out to the community and clear up matters regarding Town Administrator George Samia.
According to Condon, the town administrator signed a purchasing agreement in March with Ford Motor Credit for two dump trucks before the article was even voted on by the community at annual town meeting in June. The town did vote to purchase the vehicles, however the contract with Ford was signed three months prior to the vote and residents were completely unaware.
He also revealed that $2 million was missing from the $39 million dollar budget the community voted on at town meeting in June.
He stated that the 5% difference was unfair to voters and that Samia was aware of the real budget prior to the vote, “The Town Administrator says ,well, because of the amount of the payment on the new high school and senior community center was exactly known, it was decided not to include the amount in the budget. The fact is the amount was known at annual town meeting. It was not disclosed that there was $2 million missing from the budget at the board of selectmen pre-meeting to the annual town meeting, it was not disclosed in the warrant when it was reviewed with the town clerk, and it was not disclosed at annual town meeting.”
East Bridgewater resident Paula Lewis said that she was shocked by some of the facts presented and especially the current condition of town government, “Three people we voted in, I’d like them to act as a group and I’d like them to act like they’re concerned about spending our tax dollars.”
After the public forum ended, Lewis asked residents to sign a petition that she believes will help get the town back on track, “[It] asks the board of selectmen to call a special town meeting and allow the town to vote again if they want to go from a three to five person board of selectmen.”
Selectmen Condon stated that the board has put a freeze on all town purchases to make sure money being spent complies with what was voted on at town meeting. Though Condon’s relationship with Administrator Samia and the two other selectmen are currently strained he’s confident that they will be able to work it out for the town.