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Frustrated New Bloomfield residents express concern with lack of answers at town meeting

Thursday evening New Bloomfield's mayor and Board of Alderman met publicly for the first time since the town's only police officer resigned in lieu of being fired. (Megan Sanchez/KRCG 13)

Thursday evening New Bloomfield's mayor and Board of Alderman met publicly for the first time since the town's only police officer resigned in lieu of being fired.

Residents expressed frustration with Greg Mooney's departure and some of the board's budget decisions.

"If you think it is important enough to pay a superintendent and a city clerk in this town big city salaries, we need a big city police department," Cheri Wilson said from across the room.

At the end of the meeting, several residents said they did not get the answers they came for.

"No, we never get any answers," said 35-year New Bloomfield resident Rita Kliethermes. "It's the same as always: 'no comment, that's an HR problem.'"

It was standing room only as residents questioned why Mooney had to resign. He said the support was overwhelming.

"Just very grateful for the citizens to be here and show their support for the New Bloomfield Police Department," he said. "They deserve answers from the city council, which they're not getting at the moment."

Mayor Greg Rehagen took questions from the crowd for an hour. He said as the city spokesperson, he is the only one who can answer questions. As far as a reason for Mooney's departure, the mayor said he could not say.

"It's covered under HR issues, human resources," he said. "We really cannot discuss that in open session."

Rehagen later explained that he serves as the point person for HR.

The police chief's dismissal wasn't the only topic of discussion. Several citizens wanted answers on how the city spends their money.

"Why is it feasible to pay a city superintendent $75,000 a year?" Wilson asked the mayor. "Tell me why."

Several residents noted when they visit City Hall during business hours no personnel is present.

"Can't get in, there's nobody here," Wilson said. "I've called up to talk about my water bill. I've came up to pay my water bill, and there's not been anybody here."

Mayor Rehagen said he is working on the town's lack of law enforcement stating that it is a top priority going forward. For now, there are no New Bloomfield police officers and residents said it's already hurting them - referencing car break-ins and people speeding down streets.

After the meeting, KRCG 13 asked Mayor Rehagen if he would like to speak on camera in order to tell the city's side. He declined, and said he would never go on camera. He said he would send a statement regarding the meeting on Friday.

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