Allegations about Town of Salina employees and the contentious argument that followed were central to the Salina Town Board meeting May 24.
Thomas Saya, former Salina Town Board 2nd Ward representative, of 202 Colony Park Dr., appeared before the board with a list of complaints about town employees in the Salina Highway Department who he claims have been wasting taxpayer money. He said he had evidence of the misuses of town property, although Salina Supervisor Mark Nicotra said he has not seen copies of such proof during the meeting or as of May 28.
"They come to work for their personal business and get paid for it," said Saya. "This whole thing is a joke."
Saya refused to use names in the open forum, but claimed that a highway department crew leader uses a town of Salina vehicle for personal purposes, that town workers go out for breaks in the vehicles in excess of two hours or more, and that he once caught an employee on the clock sleeping in a vehicle at 3 a.m.
He also said that most of the members of the Town Board had been informed and only one, 4th Ward Representative Michal Del Vecchio, had investigated the matter.
Nicotra said there have been past investigations, however nothing has caused the town board to continue because the board needed "irrefutable proof of such activity."
"We just can't take third party testimony," Nicotra
said. "There would have to be proof of such matters to take to employees and union reps."
The discussion became heated when 1st Ward Representative Colleen Gunnip asked Town Attorney Robert Ventre if the town had enough information to take disciplinary action against the accused employees. Ventre shook his head.
Gunnip said the board's hands were tied.
"How are your hands tied," yelled Saya. "You've been investigating this for two years!"