Letter: Due diligence and a dedicated public servant

Posted 1/14/21

The Jan. 7 Phoenix carried a rather lengthy article about a Bristol Town Council discussion on a severance payment to former Town Clerk Louis Cirillo. Mr. Cirillo’s severance was on …

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Letter: Due diligence and a dedicated public servant

Posted

The Jan. 7 Phoenix carried a rather lengthy article about a Bristol Town Council discussion on a severance payment to former Town Clerk Louis Cirillo. Mr. Cirillo’s severance was on the docket as a Consent agenda item, which normally does not require discussion. Council Chairman Calouro deserves credit for ensuring the severance issue was on the agenda and that the solicitor and treasurer had properly vetted the supporting documentation.

All seemed to be in order until Councilman Tim Sweeney asked that the consent agenda item be set aside for public comment. One cannot argue with Mr. Sweeney’s right and even obligation to insure taxpayer monies are being properly spent. The question here is the timing and public nature of Mr. Sweeney’s objection.

Apparently, he had a week to review the severance documentation with the solicitor and the treasurer. If he had uncovered any irregularities or discrepancies not answered to his satisfaction, he then could have raised these specific issues at the council meeting. In the end, the optics of Mr. Sweeney’s objections and vote do not look good.

Lou Cirillo has worked tirelessly in this town in the very best traditions of public service. Bristol is fortunate to have many good public servants, and Mr. Cirillo has proven to be one of the very best. Competent and efficient, he treated everyone with respect and courtesy. No issue or question was too small not to get his full attention.

Fortunately, our town does not have to pay for all the overtime Lou put into his work at the Town Hall and in many other community projects he so diligently shouldered.

This is not to say that the severance should go forward without review. However, the approach taken by Mr. Sweeney seems to question the credibility of several town officials and Lou Cirillo himself.

Mike Byrnes
Bristol

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