June 17, 2010

Moylan and Peterson can stay... if city councilors want them

Let’s go back to the early days of Mayor Frank Nicastro’s administration – but not literally.
When Nicastro claimed the mayor’s office in 1993, one of his first moves was to oust the longtime leader of the powerful Board of Finance, Dick LaMothe.
LaMothe had long used his perch to hold sway over many of the issues facing the city.
With LaMothe no longer in the picture, John Letizia stepped up to fill the seat, determined to maintain the tight-fisted tradition of the fiscal oversight panel.
For Nicastro, Letizia appeared too ready to try to become a rival power in city government. So when Letizia’s term expired, the mayor said he would not reappoint him.
The decision caused an outcry and a majority of the City Council, including then-Councilor Art Ward, refused to endorse a replacement for Letizia. They said they would not vote for anyone but Letizia to fill the seat.
For a year, Nicastro refused to reappoint Letizia and the council refused to give its backing to a successor picked by the mayor.
Until a replacement could be picked, officials agreed, the city charter was clear: Letizia could stay on.
One councilor, Joe Wilson, said he read the charter to require that councilors go along with whoever the mayor nominated for the finance board.
But others, of course, disagreed.
In the end, the city attorney, Richard Lacey, issued a ruling that said councilors had the right to vote for or against the mayor’s nominees for the finance board.
Lacey, after many hours poring over old city documents, concluded that finance board choices ''require both nomination by the mayor and concurrence by the city council.''
Lacey said in his legal opinion that early documents from the period when the finance board was created in 1932 show that officials ''placed great importance'' on maintaining the full membership of the oversight panel.
Initially, in fact, the finance panel itself could fill vacancies if the mayor and council failed to appoint someone to fill an empty slot.
Seven years later, changes were made so that only the mayor and council would have the power to fill vacancies and make new appointments.
“There was no intention to make appointments the sole prerogative of the mayor,'' wrote Lacey after studying a special committee's report from 1939.
The committee's recommendations that year were approved except that the council rejected a proposed two-term limit for finance panel members.
With nothing specific to bolster Wilson's contention, Lacey wrote, the normal legal rules for interpreting charters come into play.
And there, he wrote, the rule is that mayors appoint and councils confirm unless the charter specifically says otherwise.
With Lacey’s ruling in hand, and the impasse likely to linger unless someone gave in, Nicastro decided to endorse Letizia after all.
Why does it all matter now?
Because Ward, who is in his second term as mayor, has told two finance commissioners he won’t reappoint them. Their terms expire this month. He plans to nominate two replacements for Janet Moylan and Mark Peterson next month.
But councilors don’t have to go along with it. That’s been clear since 1995.
So if Ward nominates successors, the council is free to back them or not. If councilors want Moylan and Peterson to remain on the finance board, they can keep them there simply by following the lead that Ward helped establish 15 years ago.
If councilors don’t stick with Moylan and Peterson, it’s because they, too, want them gone.
*******
Copyright 2010. All rights reserved. Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well since none of the council people have ba@#s I would say Artie gets his way - AGAIN.

Ward lies to his own family, do you think lieing to the public is a big deal for him? NOPE.

Anonymous said...

What goes around, comes around.

We'll se if they have any guts, eespecially Cockayne and McCauley.

Recall anyone?

Anonymous said...

way to flip flop mt mayor

Anonymous said...

Too bad the Council doesn't read and understand the Charter.

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness Joe Wilson is no longer on the council.

Anonymous said...

Actually Letizia quit after Gerry Couture threatened him physically (Couture later stated he was just kidding, which he probably was, but that was not the point).

More revisionist history by Collins.

Steve Collins said...

8:04 -- I never said anything at all about what ultimately happened with Letizia. The relevant part of the story is that he was reappointed after the council refused to let the mayor pick anyone else.
But, yes, Letizia did quit after Couture threatened to punch him.

Anonymous said...

Steve, don't let these dimwits who can't even read get to you. I thought this was exactly the sort of article you should do more often on this blog, something that is more than news but not quite opinion.

Anonymous said...

June 18, 2010 8:55 AM:

You must be referring to yourself (a dim-wit). My point is the reason Letizia left the BOF was not Mayor Nicastro, it was because of a council-person (one that this article implies endorsed him).

But it's contradictory to our Constitution that elected officials can not oppose something that they have the power to make a decision on. It's a ridiculous premise that they coudn't. I can't understand why the city attorney would have to spend more than 2 seconds pondering such a silly issue. This is just another example of the incompetence of government and the liberals that dominate it.

Steve Collins said...

What are you talking about? I didn't even mention Couture, who abstained on the whole thing.

Anonymous said...

Collins:

It's not a deep concept. I'm not questioning the accuracy of your article. But the article basically states that due to Council support, Letezia stayed on. I'm simply stating that after the fact, Letiza left because of a Councilman.

Anonymous said...

Let's all just be glad that Letizia is in fact gone, along with his tyrannical and sanctimonious ways. I have never met someone who loved himself, and the image he holds of himself, more than this guy. For no apparent reason.

Anonymous said...

And now back to Ward, Moylan, Peterson.

Anonymous said...

Letezia was an excellent BOF Chairman. He was better than the guy they have in there now. I couldn't care less about his personality quirks (if he had many or any). I think he's a class act.

Moylan: She sounded like she had her head in the right place with this tax increase.

Peterson: Assuming he sided with Ms. Moylan, I would say he did as well.

Ward: I believe he listens to others too much. In this case it's the local public labor block (small "b"). I do not think he's a strong leader and as powerful a political person like Nicastro. It seems liike one day he's listening to the fiscally conservative people, the next day he's listening to the union people. It's bizarre actually. Perhaps he doesn't have the wits to know who to listen to?

Anonymous said...

11:08

Wardie goes with the wind and/or the last person to talk to him.

Anonymous said...

Re: 11:08 AM

...or perhaps he's much smarter than you think. At the very least he's got enough class not to bash other city leaders anonymously on this blog. That sure puts him heads above you now, doesn't it.

Anonymous said...

June 20, 2010 12:49 PM:

Well if he's making his decisions based on who's bashing who on this stupid blog then I am right and you are not in regards to his competence.

He fills posts like the city fills municipal jobs (not necessarily based on qualifications). But then again who cares?

In this day and age the paid municipal professionals like the City Planner (for example) basically tell the lazy board members what to do. These boards and commissions are just formalities.

Anonymous said...

8:18

Then we should appoint commissioners who have some backbone, not be serving to satisfy Ward and their personal egos!

Anonymous said...

8:18 AM, Who said anything about him making decisions based on bashing on the blog? I'm sure he probably gets a chuckle out of some of the stupidity that runs rampant here. I think most of us do.

The only person whose competence is in question seems to be you.

Anonymous said...

Defippi sure hasn't gone along with Ward, and it being to show!
I bet next time Ward will NOT appoint women because they go against what he wants!

Just watching... said...

9:42pm - maybe you should question why Ward has a problem with women on committees/boards. Maybe Ward needs to learn his "dirty old man" tactics are history.

Anonymous said...

Ward is paranoid these days, he has made a great deal of enemies since taking office, he should really look in the mirror to see what a two-faced moron he has become.

Disgusted! said...

9:24pm - I heard what happened, and I am shocked! Ward can do this and get away with it?
OMG!!!

Wondering said...

Hey Steve call Defilippi - see what the real story is. Seems to me Ward did something real bad - maybe his friends and family should know the "real" Artie.

Anonymous said...

If Ward is going to dump Peterson and Moylan, and I don't think he should, then he should consider appointing former Mayor Stortz, who would drive Klocko and Mize crazy, but certainly do what right for Bristol

Anonymous said...

Once again..stupidity running rampant!

Anonymous said...

With morons like Kevin McCauley in office, the argument against democracy grows stronger.