Recently, an article by CCA webmaster Ruth Platner was placed on the CCA website. In that post, Ms. Platner told a lie that needs to be corrected before it spreads further. Below are comments made by Town Council Vice President Deb Carney during the Budget Public Hearing on May 4, to correct that lie. With the current pandemic crisis that we are all facing, now is not the time for these sort of political games.
I need to correct a lie which is now circulating, before it spreads any further. On Monday, Ruth Platner sent an email correspondence to the Town Council and also apparently posted it on the CCA website. She stated that I said we should "return Police Pension debt payment to the surplus so it can be spent on a future capital project". That is a lie!. I did not say that, or anything remotely close to that.
What I really said, was, "I propose removing it (the additional $1 million pension payment), not because I don't believe we need to fund this fully, but as we've been told, we've always funded it to what we've been asked and this year with the Coronavirus, that money should remain where it is until we know what is going on and until we get the results of the Town wide survey." There was never any discussion about a future capital project.
This discussion was held during the April 13th Town Council meeting. The discussion regarding the police pension occurred at two different times during the meeting. The first time began at the 57 minute mark, and the second time at the 1 hour, 43 minute mark. If anyone wants to know what was really said, you can listen for yourself and hear the truth. You will hear for yourself that there was never any mention of removing money from the police pension for a future capital project.
Last year, during the budget deliberations, I was one of the several people that discussed using the surplus to fund the pensions. On more than one occasion, the suggestion to add more funding to the pensions was not well received nor acted upon. Instead some Councilors, not me, gave reasons why not to put additional money in the pension fund.
One of several meetings where using surplus towards pension liabilities was discussed was held on May 13, 2019. Specifically, note the 1 hour 21 minute mark and around the 2 hour 4 minute mark. If anyone is interested they can listen to the discussion for themselves, and what was really said, and by whom.
This afternoon we received a second email, in which Faith LaBossiere has joined Ms. Platner in telling the lie. So in the interest of setting the record straight and correcting a lie which these two individuals are now spreading, I did not say we should return the police pension payment to the surplus so it can be spent on a future capital project.
Last year I advocated for additional funding going to the pensions instead of going to last years capital project, which was, the community center, the capital project, that they both advocated in favor of.
People are out of work. There are people that can not feed their families right now, and some are talking about money we don't need to spend this year. This year's budget makes all the required pension payments, I am not, nor have I ever advocated removing the required payments.
Here's my position, I am asking that we be fiscally responsible. We have a serious situation on our hands, people are out of work and can't afford to pay their bills, now, more than ever, is not the time for these politically motivated lies.
Deborah Carney, Vice President, Charlestown Town Council