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Caprera weighs in on RecycleBank contract

April 08, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — The RecycleBank saga took a turn into the arcane Tuesday when Town Attorney Robert Caprera affirmed the Town Council gave the town manager authority to make changes to the Casella contract years ago.

But several councilors present at Tuesday's Education and Human Services meeting essentially warned manager Chris Clark to get their approval before doing so in the future, with Catherine Nikolla noting the council's ultimately responsible for whatever happens.

"This is the most volatile issue the town of Southbridge has ever had to go through," she said, later adding, "We should be advised if anyone takes a side-long look at making a change to this contract."

Clark agreed to do so, saying, "I don't want to get out in front of the council," even though his actions had always been within the law.

Caprera agreed, noting the council granted such authority to the town manager in May 2007, when it approved the landfill contract. That vote was 5-4, with two councilors from each side still on the council — David Livengood and Nikolla voted yes, Steve Lazo and Larry McDonald voted no.

To resident James Sottile, the 2007 vote essentially "gave a legislative veto right to the manager," and he urged the council to "reach back and take that power back."

See Friday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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