Seekonk Board of Selectmen members waited until the end of Wednesday night’s meeting to bring out the big verbal guns.
Selectman Dave Parker made a statement to the public in response to claims that members have given out illegal engineering contracts worth approximately $100,000 and hired employees away from public view.
"It's personal. I challenged that person by e-mail over 10 days ago to come forward," Parker said, noting the person is a Board of Selectmen candidate. "That means we're breaking the law. He also said people are getting jobs because of us and that has to stop. I just want the public to know.”
He wrapped up his statement with a thought on the hardships of municipal servitude.
“I know what it means to have a whole bunch of people think you’re an absolute fruitcake no matter which way you go … It doesn’t matter what I do, I’m going to get, like, a whole bunch of people saying I’m a bum. It does take a special person to put up with that type of thing.”
Selectman Michael Brady also said he never made a political move to benefit family.
"I didn't do it for that," he said. "I did it for those of you like me out there who go to work every day and send your kids to school, pay your taxes and want someone there to look out for you."
On Thursday, selectmen candidate Bob McClintock said he believed Parker’s statement was targeted toward him – though his name was not mentioned during the public meeting.
"This is a last-minute ploy by forces at town hall. They don’t want me elected because they know I’ll expose the truth and clean up the mess that they have made,” he said on Thursday afternoon.
According to McClintock, back room deals are “public knowledge” and change is needed.
“Seekonk residents are tired of sneaky backyard politics. It’s been going on too long,” he said.
During the meeting, board members also approved a $4.61 increase in the annual trash pickup fee in the 2012 fiscal year. Brady thought residents who do not pay should have their trash services shut off.
"I don’t think that’s fair to the 4,000 of us doing it ... We should notify the trash hauler and no longer pick up trash at those residences," Brady said.
Board members also renewed the contracts of Chief of Police Ron Charron and Finance Director Bruce Alexander.