Controversy continues in Southwick

SOUTHWICK – The controversy surrounding the Board of Selectmen continued Monday night when Selectwoman Tracy Cesan responded to a letter to the editor from fellow board member Russell Fox.
Fox’s letter appeared in Monday’s Westfield News and was a response to a letter written by Cesan’s husband, Paul. Cesan said she wanted to address several points in Fox’s letter that referenced her, not her husband.
Cesan said the issues are in the public.
“Everybody understands there is an ongoing issue,” said Cesan.
The comments were made during New Business, while during Public Comments, Paul Cesan presented a second round of complaints to the board and Robert Horacek spoke out in support of Fox and Board Chairman Arthur Pinell.
“Mr. Pinell and Mr. Fox are good, honorable men,” Horacek said, adding that they have always acted in “the best interest of the town.”
Horacek said there have been “dispicable, underhanded” acts against the two selectmen and said “civility must be observed.”
Horacek spoke about an October meeting where Cesan spoke about a complaint she filed at Town Hall.
“Ms. Cesan made it known it was not a lawsuit,” Horacek said, then asked what the nature of the complaint was and if could it turn into litigation.
“At this time there is action that is ongoing and for Mr. Fox and I it would not be appropriate to comment,” Pinell said. “Information will be available when the issue is resolved.”
Cesan said several items in Fox’s letter were false, noting that he stated that she asked to have minutes amended to reflect a change in her approval of paving Consolini Way.
Cesan said last night that when she originally gave her approval, she thought it was to explore paving the road, which she said is not actually a road.
“I thought it was a private way, I thought I was agreeing to have a resident bring forth a concern,” she said.
Cesan said since that vote, she found out that Consolini Way is not a private road, but a driveway that is actually an address on Babbs Road.
Cesan said Fox’s statement that there is no evidence to support the board treating her unfairly is false, as well.
“You are in possession of quite a lot of evidence,” Cesan said.
Cesan referenced a letter from an attorney outlining restrictions on Cesan’s voting and discussion capabilities on the board because she is also a town employee.  Fox asked to have the letter filed in the treasurer’s office. Cesan said there is another letter that threatens her employment that was not filed with the town.
“If you want people to have transparency, give it all,” she said.
Cesan then accused Pinell and Fox of violating open meeting laws and said she was “disgusted” by their behavior.
Fox did not respond to Cesan and Pinell only addressed the Consolini Way issue.

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