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Jourdain files ordinance to seal employment ‘loophole’

Date: 1/16/2015

HOLYOKE – City Council President Kevin Jourdain has called for the resignation of Treasurer Jon Lumbra, who has announced his candidacy for the Ward 7 seat on the council, as a necessary step for a temporary replacement to be named.

Jourdain, speaking to Reminder Publications, said he is now working on an ordinance that would close the “loophole” that would currently allows Lumbra to continue in the elected position of treasurer at the same time he is employed by Loomis Communities as controller.

Jourdain called Lumbra having two full-time jobs as “unconscionable.”

He charged that Lumbra is working part-time for the city and yet receiving his full time pay of $6,000 a month.  Jourdain said he wants Lumbra to follow through with the commitment he made to accept a part-time salary for the treasurer’s job.

Jourdain maintained that Lumbra told him “I’m only staying here part-time to see the audit through.”

Jourdain asked, “What happened to all that? He should know better than that.”

Lumbra had said at the press conference announcing his candidacy that he would vacate his office at the end of the year, unless the City Council appoints Assistant Treasurer Sandra Smith as the acting treasurer. Jourdain said he thinks “very highly” of Smith but “we can’t do anything until he resigns.” 

He said he would want the position posted, so the council and Mayor Alex Morse can pick the best candidate.

Lumbra is not doing anything illegal, Jourdain added, by working two full-time jobs, but his actions are not “morally correct.”

“Despite his opinion that no one cares, I can assure him many people care,” Jourdain said. 

Under his proposed ordinance, any full-time office holder may not hold other outside employment. Jourdain said the proposal is now in committee.

He said no law currently on Holyoke’s books anticipated this situation.

“He is gyping the taxpayers out of a full-time treasurer,” Jourdain said.