Campbell officials clash over finances, attitudes

Published: Thu, April 18, 2019 @ 12:05 a.m.

By Graig Graziosi


City council members and administrators were on edge Wednesday night during the group’s caucus session and regular meeting due to budgetary worries.

Three pieces of legislation providing raises for the city’s water account clerk, the mayor’s secretary and the city finance clerk were voted down during council’s meeting.

The water account clerk would have received an increase of 64 cents hourly, going from $15.93 an hour to $16.57 an hour.

The mayor’s secretary would have received a 50-cent raise from $10.39 to $10.89 an hour.

The finance clerk would have received a 51-cent raise, from $12.74 to $13.25 an hour. In addition to their raises, the employees each would have received a $1,200 stipend.

During the caucus session, council discussed whether the city could afford the raises.

Finance Director Yianni Tiliakos said he could give council a better idea of whether raises were feasible if he first met with council and the administration for a finance committee meeting. Council agreed to meet May 10 and discuss the raises.

Also during the caucus, Councilman Bryan Tedesco, D-2nd, expressed frustration with Tiliakos, arguing that council didn’t have up-to-date financial figures with which to determine department budgets.

Tiliakos responded by explaining he was on track to have the city’s books reconciled, but due to lack of financial oversight under previous finance directors, he has to split his time between training new staff, fixing the payroll department and carrying out his normal auditing duties.

After Tedesco finished voicing his frustration, Mayor Nick Phillips rebuked Tedesco over an interaction between the councilman and Tiliakos earlier in the day.

According to the letter, Tedesco went to the finance department and had a “very loud and aggressive” confrontation with Tiliakos over the city budget.

The mayor’s letter said that, among other comments, Tedesco recommended Tiliakos “start looking for another job.”

Tiliakos interpreted that statement as a threat to his job, but Tedesco maintains he was referring to what would happen if the city entered fiscal emergency, and he was not making a threat.

The letter suggested Tedesco resign as a councilman and said he could no longer address Tiliakos in the finance department without the mayor or city administrator present or risk removal and arrest by city police.

After some back and forth, Tedesco explained himself and ultimately apologized to Tiliakos both during the caucus and in council chambers.

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