Councilor Wants 'More Teeth' in City's Savings Policy

Sara-Lynn Reynolds says a recently approved cash reserve policy is "fluff." This angers Council President Frank Cook, who sources say yelled at Reynolds and Councilor Jonathan Weydt after the meeting.

The city could get specific on its savings policy if the City Council approves a measure proposed by Councilor Sara-Lynn Reynolds. She faces opposition from the council president and the head of the budget committee.

Although the council approved a measure last month calling for the city to increase targets for cash reserve accounts, Reynolds said at last week's meeting this was "kind of just a fluff policy, there was nothing really set in stone." She has proposed the outline of an ordinance that she said would "put more teeth to it."

Reynolds' proposal states, "The city of Attleboro requires and must maintain a cash reserve policy that includes stated targeted balances for the stabilization fund and other reserve funds or a percentage of the total annual budget/revenues must be stated as a projected target balance and a schedule of annual appropriations citing actual dollar amounts will be presented that will be reviewed biennially."

The council voted to forward her proposal to the council's Committee on Budget & Appropriations for review. Committee Chair Brian Kirby said he was "concerned" about the measure.

"If we set out an ordinance and then we don't have a good season or we have [local aid cuts], I'd hate to have an ordinance that states that we have to set money aside and possibly cut positions," Kirby said.

Councilors Richard Conti and Jonathan Weydt were more enthusiastic about the concept, with both making positive comments. Weydt said he "loved" the idea and wished he had proposed it.

"I think it's a plus for the city and probably the treasurer as well," Weydt said. "I just can't wait to have a discussion on it."

Not sharing their enthusiasm was Council President Frank Cook, who was behind the measure approved by the council last month. He calmly said he disagreed with Reynolds' characterization of it as "fluff." She then said she may have used a poor choice of words, but stood by her statement that the approved measure was not strong enough.

While Cook was calm in his criticism during the meeting, he apparently was not once the DoubleACS cameras turned off. Sources say Cook yelled at Reynolds and Weydt after the meeting as people walked through City Hall headed toward the election's office to see the results. His screams were so loud, sources say, that Council Vice President Peter Blais had to intervene to calm the scene.

Sarah November 13, 2012 at 02:08 PM
For starters I am no THE Sara-Lynn... phew glad we got that out of the way. Frank Cook needs to check himself. It's not Cookboro, its Attleboro. HE WORKS FOR THE CONSTITUANTS OF WARD THREE. (I know stop giggling) He is rude and disrespectful to ALL. Go Sara-Lynn and Jonathan! Push forward with your clear and good thoughts that will make Attleboro BETTER!!! Dont let that idiot bully you!!!
Henry November 13, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Nice job Sara-Lynn Reynolds on presenting a common sense recommendation and thank you Jonathan Weydt and Richard Conti for supporting it as well. Unfortunately Ganghis Cook and his side kick Kirby will try to let it die in Committee. SOMEONE from Ward 3 Please please please run against Frank Cook and perhaps with any luck at all Mr. Family Values will loose the at large seat along with 38 special.
Bill Bowles November 13, 2012 at 04:22 PM
The actions of Cook are way out of line. I agree, it is time for him to go. Cook and Kirby should have politely told the presenters of the motion that it is out of order, because one council cannot pass an ordinance that binds a future council to make certain appropriation. Previous City Solicitors have ruled on this. Senior Councilors should have known this.
Daniel F. Devine November 13, 2012 at 06:41 PM
Time for COOK to go, and take KIRBY with him. Two real jerks!
Roxanne Houghton November 13, 2012 at 07:08 PM
A new independent City Councilor thinking for herself and suggesting change??? Whatever was she thinking? Just remember, if it wasnt for the new independent thinking City Councilors, Ward 3 would now have 70 massive dump trucks roaring through - 6 days per week, and Ward 4 would have the same, and a newly re-opend dump. With this would come more cancers and sicknesses and serious accidents on the road.........Our independent thinking City Councilors are the first line of defense against the old harmful practices of the past. The "old thinkers" are dangerous to us all in many ways..............
Sandy Miller November 13, 2012 at 08:49 PM
I am scratching my head wondering what Sara Reynolds is trying to do here. Read paragraph (3) of this article a few times and your eyes will surely cross. Her calling last month’s measure “fluff” and then proposing this kind of complicated, verbose mess as a solution sure reeks of something else. If she wants to switch on auto-pilot through her ordinances and usurp the authority of the living, breathing, elected administrative officials we vote for, she should just say it. If not, she might just be trying to make a name for herself or do the dirty work on behalf of someone else… Either way, Sara should be more up front with us.
Sarah November 14, 2012 at 06:01 PM
@ Sandy As a Councilor it is well within Sara-Lynn’s right to propose anything her constituents request of her that she determines has merit. I take exception to the quote "dirty work on behalf of someone else". SL is an AT Large Councilor who works on behalf of the whole city. Do you want to know what “dirty work” is? It is City Councilors who push and bully through crappy ordinances and then get mad when someone calls them into question. The bottom line on this whole thread is this: REGARDLESS of what transpired during the council meeting there is an appropriate way to manage differences on the council. Screaming, yelling and belittling your coworkers is NEVER an option. Unfortunately this had become a habit for Frank.
Daniel F. Devine November 14, 2012 at 07:07 PM
Well said Sara! ~ Wake-up Ward 3
Rabblerouser November 15, 2012 at 03:28 AM
Rabblerouser November 15, 2012 at 03:52 AM
Kirby opines: "If we set out an ordinance and then we don't have a good season or we have [local aid cuts], I'd hate to have an ordinance that states that we have to set money aside and possibly cut positions," "a good season"? I know it's hunting season, but did he mean to say something like a bad quarter or fiscal year perhaps? "and possibly cut positions." Another great statement. Government must get smaller at every level, including the local level. The setting of the tax rate shows that with 20 plus businesses having left the city or gone out of business in the past year alone. Who will be left to pay the bills when the only people left in the city to pay the bills are city workers and layabouts collecting a check from Uncle Sam as the boomers retire and vacate in droves to places cheaper to live? Something that can't go on, won't! The deficit spending by Obama by over a trillion a year for the next four will be our demise anyway. So this matter is trivial in comparison. Kool-Aid, anyone?
Jerry Chase December 13, 2012 at 09:25 PM
What better candidate for the old colonial days' treatment, "tar & feathers", than Mr. Arrogance Himself: Frank Cook? He is an accomplished liar.
Daniel F. Devine December 13, 2012 at 09:42 PM


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