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Daykon quits Trafford Council during contentious meeting

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As expected, Trafford Council passed a 2013 budget that keeps the real-estate property tax rate at 28.5 mills. The $1.82-million budget passed by a 6-1 vote, with Councilman Frank Bruno opposing it.

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By Chris Foreman
Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, 8:51 p.m.
 

Trafford Councilman John Daykon hastily resigned and Council President Rich Laird called police to maintain order after a discussion Tuesday night about a grant for the volunteer fire department erupted into a shouting match.

Daykon, a councilman since spring 2010, abruptly turned in his key to the borough offices and left the meeting after a heated exchange with Councilman Frank Bruno, whom Daykon replaced earlier this year as finance chairman.

Mayor Rey Peduzzi said the borough is losing a “very valuable asset to the community.”

He credited Daykon for solidifying Trafford's finances after council overspent on a new public safety building by hundreds of thousands of dollars.“I think that's a tremendous injustice to this borough,” Peduzzi said.

Council didn't act immediately to accept Daykon's resignation before adjourning into an executive session. The flared tempers resulted from a discussion about an $8,000 grant that members of the Trafford Fire Company — one of the primary tenants of the new public safety building, which that triggered the borough's financial problems this year — say the borough owes them.

Details of the grant were included in a January resolution passed by council, but Daykon and fellow council members Vicki Megon and Henry Schultz said Bruno didn't outline the grant payment before the vote. The resolution passed 5-2, with Daykon and Schultz dissenting.

In the resolution, council agreed to transfer ownership of a firetruck to the department. It also called for Council to “make a discretionary contribution of $8,000 to TFC for the 2012 year as previously promised.”

Council members disputed the extent to which the grant was discussed in public and the argument included Bruno calling Daykon a liar.

“I'm sick of it,” Bruno said. “I'm sick of the lies.”

Daykon repeatedly said “I'm done” and indicated he was leaving the meeting, but offered his resignation as the quarrel continued.

“I will not be called a liar,” Daykon said.

Before he left the meeting, Daykon said the fire department actually owes the borough $8,224.

Of that, $6,388 is from construction change orders the department requested and pledged to cover for the new fire station, he said.

Another $1,836 relates to damage caused when firefighters drilled into the Plexiglas near a fire alarm at the station.

“By them doing that boneheaded move of drilling holes and resetting (the alarm), in addition to causing $1,800 (in damage), they voided the warranty,” Daykon said.

Fire Chief Brian Lindbloom — who arrived at the meeting after that comment — said the firefighters had to gain access to the alarm because it was going off several times and they didn't have a key to the device.

Megon disputed that and claimed they did have a key.

Council members intend to resume the discussion at their Jan. 15 meeting.

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400 ext. 8671 or cforeman@tribweb.com.

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