WYOMING — Tamra Smith’s position as borough manager is safe for the time being, despite cries for her ouster Monday night.
Smith is currently under investigation for financial misconduct while serving as treasurer for the Wyoming Free Library and the Wyoming Hose Co. #1. Her home and office were raided by state police last month.
A motion by Councilman Michael Baloga to put Smith on administrative leave without pay was defeated by a 4-2 vote, with Councilman Joseph Scaltz being the only other ‘yes.’
Given the allegations, “it makes me very nervous” to have Smith still in charge of the borough’s finances, Baloga said after the meeting.
More than 60 people attended Monday night’s borough council meeting, the first since the raid. Smith was not present.
Council members held an executive session prior to the public meeting to discuss the Smith investigation, but would not publicly comment on the matter.
During the public meeting, it was revealed that mayor Joe Dominick was voted by council members to leave the executive session, but council members again would not comment, saying it was a “personnel matter.”
Resident Jeremy Nelson said he believied she should be suspended immediately.
“It would seem to me, like common sense, that you would not let someone who is being investigated for financial misconduct to continue managing finances,” Nelson said to council. “So, to me it would make sense that the borough council should suspend the borough manager without pay.”
Council Chairman Steve Nelewajko, who voted ‘no’ on the matter, said it was because there is nobody to fill the position on an immediate basis.
“She’s innocent until proven guilty,” he added.
Also during the meeting:
• Borough residents voiced their concerns over a potential new contract for the Police Commissioner position, currently held by Michael Flanagan.
Council members said they are still working on the details of the contract, and even decided on removing the item from Monday night’s agenda due to additional questions from council.
“We have some additional follow up details and questions that need to be addressed,” said borough solicitor Shannon Crake Lapsansky.
• Wyoming Free Library Board of Trustees President Colleen Garrison asked council about the possibility of contributions and donations to the library, noting that the library is not borough funded.
At the previous meeting, council members denied the motion to donate money to the library, and Councilman Michael Flynn said his reasons on voting against the matter was due to a previous theft that the library did not make public several years ago.
“I cannot speak for the previous board,” Garrison responded. “Marcella Starr was the president of the (Wyoming Free Library Board of Trustees) and Tamra Smith was the treasurer, you can ask them.”
Garrison’s response was met with a thunderous applause by the audience.
At the end of the meeting, council members voted to donate $500 to the library.