Pomona Mayor Nick Sanderson yesterday refused to disclose any information about how much it would cost to receive services from Robinson & Cole LLP., a law firm that was hired by the village to fight a lawsuit brought by a Jewish congregation.
The congregation wants to build a rabbinical college on a 130-acre site off Routes 202 and 306.
Sanderson said he had “some” idea about the price tag but wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t give any estimate because he didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know.
I pressed him to give me the information, saying that it would be unreasonable as the villageÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fiscal officer to hire a firm without informing residents how much the village would pay for its services.
Then he said the village wanted to focus on defending itself, not on the cost, at this point.
I told him that it was illegal for the village to withhold the information because the village board voted to hire the firm at a public meeting.
Sanderson then told me to talk to Village Attorney Doris Ulman.
Ulman said the information should be available to the public, but I needed to file a Freedom of Information Law request to get it because the firm’s proposal, which included dollar figures for its fees, stated that the information in the document was confidential.
I sent out my FOIL request as the first thing this morning but found that the villageÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s record officer, Village Clerk Lisa Thorsen, was out of office today. Without her, we cannot get it.
WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll do a story as soon as Thorsen gives me the information.
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s puzzling that Sanderson did not want to disclose how much it would cost at the first place. Whose money is the village going to use? It’s taxpayers’ money.
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