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April 4, 2013

Some irked by gift to former councilor

(Continued)

Chirichiello said both Fairbanks and Coyle got gifts equal in value to his.

The controversy has some councilors thinking they should take a look at how gifts are given in the future when officials step down.

New Town Councilors Tom Cardon and Mark Osborne both said they received many phone calls on the iPad issue. Osborne said he didn’t think Anderson had the authority to give the iPad to Chirichiello without Town Council approval.

“I have no doubt the gift was done with good intentions,” Osborne said. “But why give the town administrator the power to give away town property without a vote? I don’t think it’s unreasonable for the town to ask that the iPad be returned immediately.”

Town Councilor Al Dimmock called the iPad gift a “misuse of town property.”

Town Councilor Neil Wetherbee said he didn’t agree with Anderson’s decision to allow Chirichiello to keep the iPad , but he said the group should move forward to look at how gifts are handled in the future.

“What’s done is done,” he said. “This is not a decision I agreed with, but I don’t have the authority to tell John Anderson what to do.”

Coyle said Chirichiello’s request to keep his iPad was “inappropriate” and he should return it to the town.

“And I asked for a bench for the bike path and that bench is owned by the town,” Coyle said. “That doesn’t compare to the iPad that was given away as town property.”

Resident Kelly Martin said everyone should move forward with more pressing concerns.

“Talking about it this way is absurd,” she said. “There are so many problems in this town, that should be the least of it. Just move forward.”

Chirichiello said taking the iPad as his gift might be a cost savings measure.

“I believe this actually saved the town money because they already purchased the iPads and at least two were not being used,” he said. “A chair would have cost money in this budget. I also want to point out that both Coyle and Fairbanks started the tradition of not taking a chair. They both got gifts of the exact same value I did. I got nothing more or nothing less.”

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