With a resolution awarding a construction contract to a Woodbury firm back in front of the City Council Tuesday, council members Paul Pintella and Cordelia Staton attacked Councilman Jim Coston about what they saw as disparaging comments on Mr. Coston’s personal blog.
Mr. Coston in his blog questioned the influence of contributions on the administration’s efforts in support of the resolution.
Before the resolution presentation, Mr. Pintella said Mr. Coston should clarify his blog comments and whether they suggested impropriety or a lack of integrity on the part of the administration.
Mr. Pintella said he had not read the blog but heard it second-hand.
“I would recommend that you read it for yourself before you begin making accusations,” Mr. Coston said.
Ms. Staton went further, and said she had read the blog, and called Mr. Coston’s comment “slimy”.
In addition, she said she took offence to his comments about the City Council’s daily activities.
“Mr. Coston has cast aspersions on this body,” Ms. Staton said.
The defensive comments from Mr. Pintella and Ms. Staton were curious in that Mr. Coston’s blog entry about contributions was directed at the administration, and not the council or council members.
The two, along with Councilman Manny Segura, did receive tens of thousands of dollars from Mayor Douglas H. Palmer.
So perhaps they felt slighted because any questionable contribution to Mayor Palmer could be linked to their campaign finances, which would be tainted by the funds in question, sources said.
Two days earlier Mr. Coston had questioned the reasoning behind the administration’s having brought the failed resolution back before the council, and commented on the possibility of a link between campaign contributions and the administration’s drive to bring the resolution back before council.
However, the next day Mr. Coston said he did not mean a “quid pro quo” relationship between any contributions and the contract resolution.
The resolution carries a contract of roughly $150,000 for the building of small park on a site at the corner of North Willow Street and Pennington Avenue.
It had failed in May amid doubts about the administration’s efforts in reaching out to the community in the area of the planned construction site.