A discussion over the spending of money being
used to develop the new city park led to some
harsh words between city officials at Monday night's
gathering of the Dearborn Board of Aldermen.
Alderman Gary Bomar has overseen much of the
park construction and related expenditures in
recent months. Fellow aldermen over the past couple
of meetings have begun questioning Bomar on the
details of spending and the timeframe for completion
of certain aspects of the project.
The discussion led to hints from fellow Alderman
Bill Edwards that some residents feel like something
suspicious could be going on.
Edwards questioned Bomar about city grant money
being paid to a woodworking company. Edwards specifically
asked about a $2,000 check written to the company,
among others, and said: "Has he been making
$4,000 a month (from the city)?"
Bomar answered "no." Edwards then remarked
that he is aware the owner of the woodworking
firm has been working at Bomar's house.
"That's where we built the benches (for
the park)," Bomar said, adding that the man
had also done work on his residence.
"Well that's all I need to say," Edwards
stated, obviously hinting that in his opinion
some members of the community are wondering if
Bomar is getting personal work done via city resources.
"You know how people in a small town talk."
Alderman Louis Buntin then added: "That
is true. Perception is reality."
"Well, I can eliminate it," Bomar said
abruptly, without specifying how he would eliminate
"You're about done with the benches so it's
almost a moot point," Buntin said.
Edwards also at one point asked Bomar when playground
equipment at the park would be done.
"When would you like it done, sir?"
"As soon as possible," Edwards replied.
"Then it will be ASAP," Bomar said.
Mayor Frank Downing appeared to take a step in
the direction of "cleaning up" park
construction matters by appointing a five-member
park board during Monday's meeting.
Those five park board members will be Karlton
Nash, Lisa Pope, Donald Swanstone, Marilyn Troutman
and Jimmy Schultz.
Later in the meeting, Edwards and Bomar had another
terse exchange when the topic dealt with the old
Interurban railroad car the city has voted to
dispose of. Bomar, who earlier had said he would
fight against the city's plan to scrap the car,
on Monday said he wanted no part of the discussion.
"You already put yourself in the middle
of it when you lied to the newspapers," Edwards
said, specifically referencing a recent column
in The Landmark that related emailed comments
Bomar had indicated to the media that he was
out of town and unavailable to attend the meeting
at which the board voted to dispose of the car.
Edwards has indicated he believes Bomar was in
town but simply failed to attend the meeting.
Bomar and Edwards, who are seated next to each
other at the meeting table, then briefly exchanged
heated words about the use of the word "liar,"
prompting Buntin to utter a disgusted "Oh,
God" and Downing to pound his mayor's gavel
on the table.
Interestingly, throughout the meeting Bomar declined
to vote on many motions that were made without
explaining his silence.
Bomar has privately hinted that perhaps his service
time on the board has come to an end, but he declined
the chance to comment further on the topic this
week, telling The Landmark he would have nothing
to say about board actions.