by Lisa Tome
Rising Sun Mayor Bob Fisher said it's costing him money to serve the town.
Last week, town board members refused to pay for the mayor to attend the upcoming Maryland Mayors Association Annual Winter Conference which is set for February 6-7.
The cost for the conference is $130 plus overnight accommodations, and will be held in Annapolis. Conference events include a reception at the Government House, networking, a reception with Governor Martin O'Malley, regional brainstorming with other mayors, a legislative breakfast, speakers, and education sessions.
"I understand the commissioners have refused to reimburse me for the mayor's meeting," said Fisher.
"My personal opinion is that the meetings are to promote the Town of Rising Sun," said Commissioner Travis Marion. Marion also said that the mayor "would be negative and talk about his powers being taken." "The mayor's role is to talk about positive things in the town," said Marion.
"That is also my opinion," said Commissioner George Walker.
"We go to these meetings to do a better job with government, share experiences and learn to handle problems," said Fisher. Fisher also accused the commissioners of being "parsimonious and vengeful."
He also stated that he has not yet been reimbursed for attending the Maryland Municipal League summer conference in June 2013.
"I have skills and knowledge that the town ignores," said Fisher.
Marion said that he was approached by a mayor from another area who told him that Fisher was saying "negative" things about the town. Marion also said that the Town has spent a lot of money defending Fisher's lawsuits. "We will not see that again," said Marion. Fisher said the lawsuits could have been settled (by board action).
Commissioner Lyn Dugger defended the mayor. "The commissioners of Rising Sun have not been nice," said Dugger. She said the board has been "vindictive" toward the mayor since he was elected.
"The mayor gets what he gives," said Walker.
"And you should too," quipped Dugger.
In the wake of the denial of town commissioners for the mayor to attend an upcoming conference, Fisher submitted a list of expenses which he says he has incurred and not been reimbursed.
They are as follows:
• Paper drawings for sewer plant.
• Economic development meeting in Hagerstown
• Local government Insurance Trust annual meeting in Hagerstown.
• Maryland Municipal League summer conference in Ocean City, Md.
• Maryland Association of Counties winter meeting in Cambridge.
• Maryland Municipal League meeting in Annapolis.
• Cecil County Chamber of Commerce legislative meeting in Annapolis.
He also said he was denied the right to attend the Cecil County Leadership training course.
Town administrator Calvin Bonenberger stated that the mayor is "submitting reimbursement requests without all the receipts".