Council chairman expresses ‘frustration,’ won’t seek another term

Tom Galvin

PROSPECT — Citing frustration with not being able to get answers to financial questions, Town Council Chairman Tom Galvin has announced that he will not be running for re-election.

Galvin, a Republican who has served on the council and been chairman since 2007, announced his intentions not to run again at the council’s June 20 meeting.

In a subsequent interview, Galvin said his decision is due to increasing frustration at the council level involving not being able to get information from Town Treasurer David Young and Mayor Robert Chatfield, both Republicans, on financial topics.

“I’m not alleging that anything illegal is going on, but people have a right to ask questions and get answers to how taxpayers’ dollars are spent,” Galvin said.

The questions center around how and why some transactions were accounted for, Galvin said.

According to the minutes on the Jan. 3 council meeting, Young came before the council and discussed the process for how invoices are paid and verifying invoices.

In the minutes, Galvin said he requested answers to seven transactions made through the public works budget but hadn’t received an answer.

At the council’s Jan. 18 meeting, Galvin submitted an email to Young where he specifies questions about seven transactions identified by the town’s auditor that were posted to the public works salary account that weren’t public works salary expenses, according to the minutes of the meeting.

The transactions include five payments to vendors in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 fiscal years, and two salary payments to employees, according to a document submitted in the minutes. On the document, the auditor notes the matter has been addressed in the 2016-17 fiscal year with the elimination of the public works allocated wage categories and the creation of accounts for public works regular salary and public works overtime.

Galvin said his questions as to how vendor invoices and other payments ended up being charged against public salary accounts instead of their specific budgeted account still haven’t been answered.

“If the chairman of the Town Council can’t get a question answered, what chance does a citizen have,” Galvin said.

Young said he has given information to Galvin over the last year and half, but that Galvin hasn’t been satisfied with it.

“I don’t see any red flag,” Young said.

Young reserved further comment.

Chatfield said the invoices are available at Town Hall if anyone’s wants to see them.

When asked for a reaction to Galvin’s announcement he will not be running again, Chatfield said he’s very pleased, without elaborating, and that he will respond to Galvin’s statement at an upcoming council meeting.