Following The O’Zone’s publication of its latest post, Southbridge, Does This Smell Fishy To You?, a friend asked me when the council authorized the town manager to make these sales and who voted for it.
After reviewing the town council minutes, I was able to find the following entry:
TOWN COUNCIL MEETING
TOWN OF SOUTHBRIDGE
MONDAY May 21, 2012
AGENDA ITEM #2- ROLL CALL: Councilors present: CLEMENCE, LANGEVIN, MARCUCCI, NIKOLLA, REGIS, SPINELLI & VANDAL. Absent: LIVENGOOD. MCDONALD arrived at 7:05pm.
AGENDA ITEM #24- VOTE TO AUTHORIZE THE TOWN MANAGER AND TOWN ATTORNEY TO SELL BY RFP NINE (9) LOTS ON COMMERCIAL DRIVE, INDIVIDUALLY OR COLLECTIVELY, WITH A TARGETED MINIMUM TOTAL SALE VALUE OF $270,000 TOWARD THE 10.79 ACRES ANR AND THAT THE TOWN MANAGER AND TOWN ATTORNEY BE AUTHORIZED TO COMPLETE ALL NECESSARY CLOSING TERMS TO EFFECTUATE SAID CLOSING: A motion was made by Councilor Spinelli and seconded by Councilor Langevin.
Councilor McDonald asked if they have current appraisals on the property. Town Manager Clark stated it was included in the package and they did select a different company and the effective date of the appraisal was March 28th and that‟s where the $270,000 comes from. Town Manager Clark stated this is a brand new appraisal.
VOTE BY ROLL CALL. THOSE IN FAVOR: LANGEVIN, MARCUCCI, MCDONALD, NIKOLLA, REGIS, SPINELLI, VANDAL & CLEMENCE. MOTION PASSES.
So in retrospect, all councilors present voted to give the town manager and town attorney authority to go ahead with the sale of these properties.
However, I find it interesting that the only councilor who was absent was David Livengood.
Now, if I was inclined to be overly skeptical, I might observe that such an absence would tend to exempt the ex-councilor from any charges of a conflict of interest. Of course that would only be unfounded speculation.
I will say that I had heard rumors that Mid State Welding was already a prospective purchaser of some of these lots. And I was aware of the connection between the former councilor and that company. But, we all know how pervasive the Southbridge rumor mill is, right?
Besides, the councilors who were present raised no such questions. Obviously, if they had heard such rumors they must have known they were without any substance, right?