Mayoral candidate Bob Joy has tried tirelessly to recast the fact that his first vote as a newly elected Alderman in 2009 was to approve a whopping $700 a piece for city office chairs. He has defended his vote by saying that, in the end, the city didn’t actually end up spending the total amount he approved.
Of course, what was eventually spent on the chairs is not the point here. Bob Joy and his fellow Aldermen are charged with the responsible oversight, allocation, approval and disposition of our tax dollars. Approving $700 a piece for chairs is inexcusable and concerning, something I do not believe Mr. Joy would do with his own money.
Background: At Bob Joy’s first meeting as an Alderman, on December 7th, he voted “yes” when asked to approve taxpayer dollars to fund office chairs at $700 a piece! This is a fact that can be verified by reading the Board of Aldermen meeting minutes, page 5 and 6, posted on the city website at http://www.ci.milford.ct.us/Public_Documents.
At a time when neither Joy nor Blake was running for mayor, we get a look at how they behave without the campaign framework. The meeting minutes note that while Joy was approving the dollars, Blake was challenging the motion and pushing back, reminding his fellow aldermen that the outlook for the economy was poor and this was not a good use of tax dollars. Blake is on record asking if there had been any investigation into lower cost chairs. Yet, in the end, Blake's objections fell on deaf ears and the vote to approve the motion carried along Party lines, 8 to 4, with Ben Blake voting a clear, “No”.
The fact that, in the end, the City Purchasing Department was not able to use all the money Bob Joy approved misses the point. The point here is that we get a look into Mr. Joy’s willingness to approve a reckless amount for office chairs, an amount I trust he would never approve in his own household. His vote demonstrates a pathology of spending, I submit, we cannot afford to have in the Mayor’s office.