Stamford’s board faces an accidental green light on a hefty contract — unravel the story of unexpected approvals and the quest for accountability in city governance.
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Hey, Stamford community,
We have some important news regarding a recent hiccup involving a considerable amount of money in the city’s bureaucratic process.
Let us break it down piece by piece to understand exactly what transpired.
An Accidental Approval
In a not-so-typical turn of events, the Stamford Board of Finance accidentally said “yes” to a big contract.
This happened with a lawyer named Steve Mednick, who was hired to advise on some charter revision work.
Here is the backstory: Mednick was brought on board last year, and it was assumed his services would not cost more than $100,000.
Because of this, the contract did not initially require the go-ahead from the Board of Finance.
However, the cost predictions were off — the bill will be closer to $190,000!
The Missed Deadline and Its Repercussions
Here is where things got messy.
The board discussed this contract in August and decided to wait to vote until September.
However, somehow, they still need to complete their deadline.
According to the rules, if the board does not take action on a contract within 30 days of getting it, it automatically gets the green light.
Richard Freedman, who leads the board, confirmed that this rule kicked in, and the contract was approved due to their inaction.
Talk about an oops moment.
Budget Queries and Concerns
During a meeting about this, board members had a bunch of questions.
They wondered about the contract’s financial details, especially regarding the final bill of legal fees.
Dennis Mahoney, one of the board members, seemed concerned, finding it hard to wrap his head around the open-ended nature of the expenses involved.
Richard Freedman pointed out they had set aside $135,000 for the charter revision gig for two fiscal years.
However, the legal fees will now consume a big chunk of this year’s budget.
Seeking Clarity and Accountability
Dennis Mahoney highlighted a confusing part of the contract.
It stated that Mednick’s fees should only go over $100,000 with a written notice from the city.
However, no one knows who gave him the thumbs up to continue, and the bill has surpassed that amount.
This has left board members scratching their heads and demanding answers to protect Stamford’s citizens from spiraling costs.
Now, all eyes are on the Board of Representatives, who have until their October 2 meeting to act on this contract.
If they do not, the contract will automatically be approved, just like it happened with the Board of Finance.
Everyone eagerly awaits how the board will handle this rather unusual situation.
There needs to be more coordination, and the board members are unhappy about it.
Jeff Curtis and Bradley Bewkes, the big guns at the Board of Representatives, have not said anything about this yet.
We contacted them for a comment but have yet to hear back.
In a Nutshell
So there you have it, folks — a tale of a missed deadline leading to an automatic big-money approval.
It is a reminder for everyone in the Stamford community to stay alert and always — always — mark our calendars for important dates.
As we await more updates on this matter, it is evident that the city officials have a tough job ahead in straightening out this tangled situation.
Let us hope for clarity, accountability, and a resolution that keeps Stamford’s best interests at heart.
Stay tuned, Stamford!
Let us keep our fingers crossed for a responsible resolution to this oversight.
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