Ward 2 Alderman Dr. Jack Varner’s 82nd birthday was Monday, and his gift to himself was an early exit from the city council meeting.
“I have resolved not to work overtime,” Varner said, rising from his chair at the Mayor and Board of Aldermen meeting at 5 p.m. “It’s 5 0’clock. Good day.”
Mayor Diane Delaware sang “Happy Birthday” to Varner as he exited the boardroom.
“Adios,” Varner said as he reached the door.
Varner’s departure three hours into the meeting with items remaining on the board’s agenda followed an extended discussion about streets and garbage collection.
“Those figures are not even close,” Varner said during a discussion about garbage collection budget issues.
Varner was critical of calculations by Marshall Conico, a CPA contracted by the city.
“They have no idea,” he said. “They have not done the math is what I’m telling you.”
“I looked at the math with Marshall, and I think the math is done,” Delaware said. “He added all the supplies, all the expenses, and all of the salaries. He added all of it up.”
“When he figured up the equipment, did he figure on us only paying for half of it,” Varner asked. “The other half is on a buyback (an arrangement where the city sells the used equipment back to the distributor). No, he did not. There’s so much he hasn’t figured.”
Delaware explained that Conico used the bids for garbage trucks the city was considering purchasing to calculate his figures.
“I’m surprised he’s a CPA if he can’t do better than that,” Varner said.
He then announced it was his birthday and left the meeting.
The rest of the board continued the meeting for nearly another hour.