CITY COUNCIL Member calls for clerk's firing



The council member said there is no good reason for the unpaid items.
By ROGER G. SMITH
CITY HALL REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Clarence Boles is having the law and finance departments review unpaid bills and travel reimbursements in the city council office.
Boles, D-6th, also said late this morning that Arlene Thompson, the city clerk who works for council, should be fired regardless of the outcome.
Boles said he is owed $100 in taxi fare from a March trip to Washington, D.C. A few other members also are owed reimbursements from months ago, he said. In addition, a council bill from a florist has gone unpaid five months and a snag led to members' recently being overbilled for their cell phone costs, Boles said.
Boles said he can't get any straight answers on why the bills and reimbursements haven't been paid.
"That very fact ... bothers me," he said.
A review by the law and finance departments is needed because senior council members are too close to Thompson and the deputies in the clerk's office, Boles said.
There is no good reason for the unpaid items so council needs to fire Thompson whether a probe turns up wrongdoing or not, he said.
Away most of summer
Thompson has been away most of the summer on personal leave. She is expected to return in early September. She has taken a combination of vacation and unpaid time. Two deputy clerks have been running the office in her absence.
Thompson couldn't be reached to comment late this morning.
Boles said he expected a move to fire Thompson would be made at a recent special council meeting, but wasn't. Members held off, citing her return in September, he said.
Boles also criticized council leadership. Council needs to work harder to take care of the many serious issues facing the city but isn't, he said.
rgsmith@vindy.com

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