The Stamford Board of Finance will meet Wednesday, Feb. 23, to reconsider funding requests from city entities that previously were denied. Those items are on the agenda. What is not on the agenda, but would certainly be the most significant meeting development, is the expected departure of Chairman Joseph Tarzia.
Reports are officially unconfirmed. At a Saturday rally in support of Republican Bob Kolenberg’s bid for state Senate, nobody asked was willing to respond on the record. However, all indications are that Tarzia is relinquishing his post.
While not confirming Tarzia’s resignation, Kolenberg, who is vice chairman of the Board of Finance, said he would assume the role of chairman if Tarzia were to step down.
Tarzia has been under fire since April, when an ethics complaint was filed against him. In a rare decision, the Board of Ethics found probable cause that Tarzia breached the city’s ethics code. The hearing on the matter began last fall and has been ongoing.
A second unrelated ethics complaint also was filed against Tarzia, as well as Kolenberg and city Rep. Salvatore Gabriele, R-17. The Board of Ethics later dismissed the complaint against Kolenberg.
Meanwhile, Tarzia filed his own ethics complaints, as well as a lawsuit against the city.
The past weeks have been especially contentious, with testimony by city Operations Director Ernie Orgera and Mayor Michael Pavia during the ethics hearing that countered Tarzia’s version of facts in the case. In his own testimony, Tarzia accused the mayor of lying.
In addition, the Board of Finance denied requests for snow removal overtime funds – from Orgera – and additional appropriation for legal fees – from Board of Ethics Chairman Daniel Young -- sparking questions of conflict of interest and harsh criticism from the mayor.
Those are the requests that will be revisited Wednesday.
Do you think Joseph Tarzia has done a good job as chairman of the Board of Finance? Leave a comment below.