BOSTON, N.Y. - Wednesday evening, the Town of Boston council held its first public meeting of 2017.
This was its first meeting since Channel 2 aired an investigative report in December regarding alleged missing documents from the Town Clerk's home assessment. While the home assessment is still under investigation, a very heated public meeting suggests Boston's leaders have other issues to work out as well.
At the 7:30 p.m. meeting, a full house of concerned residents sounded off on a number of budgetary issues, but it was clear that many of the public comments were related to Town Clerk Jennifer Mule's job and other appointed people who either volunteer for or are paid by the town. While many of the comments questioned some positions, there were also several public comments complimenting the council on its recent efforts to create more community events.
Toward the end, Town Supervisor Martin Ballowe made a motion to skip end-of-meeting reports and adjourn in the interest of swearing in new employees in a timely manner, but both Mule and councilman Jason Keding disagreed with that motion. After some back and forth and no clear decision, about half the board left the meeting chambers and half the board stayed.
As some members walked out, a vocal resident started a shouting match with councilman Jeffrey Genzel, which required both being separated from each other and calmed down by other present residents.
Keding spoke to residents who stayed behind about budget concerns he has as well as what he felt was poor treatment by some members of the board toward Mule.
Mule later spoke to the remaining audience as well and directly addressed reporter Erica Brecher, saying she's happy to answer questions when she is available. Despite Mule's very public statement before a large group of people, she declined an interview with Channel 2 both before and after the meeting.
Town Supervisor Ballowe said some of what was brought up includes ongoing litigation with Mule so he could not comment.