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In Cicero, Zambrano seeks answers

Sections of the town of Cicero budget have been up for debate recently, and according to councilor Jessica Zambrano the debate has been because she does not know everything she feels she should. At the February 12 Town of Cicero board meeting, the board's loan democrat Zambrano, voted "No," on approval of abstract number 3. The motion was approved, but Zambrano is asking for more information, specifically towards the Wladis Law Firm's fees, none-the-less.

"People want change in government," Zambrano said. "People are concerned about money spent and the abstracts that were presented did not always explain individual costs."

Part of the abstract was salt for the roads, salaries for town workers, all town fees for a given period of time. The reasoning behind Zambrano's "no" was not in question of all the fees but because she was seeking answers to certain pieces of the abstract.

"I have some questions on the abstract. Again they have to do with the Wladis fees," Zambrano said at the Feb. 12 meeting. Earlier in the meeting, Zambrano had questioned a $5,000 bill for an Ethics Manual produced by the Wladis firm. The $5,000 was all attributed to bill-able hours, but Zambrano was still seeking answers. "A $5,000 memo that was produced without board approval, yes I had questions about it," Zambrano said. "I'm looking for oversights and accountabilities with certain fees that I need to feel comfortable with."

In a meeting dated Monday, March 12, Heather Cole of the Wladis law firm gave a brief analysis of the $21,516 owed to the Wladis Law Firm from the Town of Cicero. The money owed had come from four different vouchers; the planning board ethics manual, union issues, teamsters and CSCA, retainer fees and disbursement. Monies that were directed towards the towns bond rating and presentation, code revisions, the article 78 petition, litigation and economic development. Although details were given on the expenditures and there whereabouts, Zambrano still felt uncomfortable with the fees and wanted to continue dialogue with Cole to get a better grasp on the monies the town has spent with the Wladis Law Firm.

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