Smart Growth for Vernon, CT
McCoy doesn’t have time to meet: assistant says

By Suzanne Carlson
Journal Inquirer
Published: Friday, October 14, 2011 12:25 PM EDT

VERNON — As Republican Mayor Jason L. McCoy’s tenure in local office winds down, staff says he is concentrating on his full-time job rather than tending to municipal business.

McCoy’s executive assistant and former Republican Mayor Diane Wheelock told the Journal Inquirer this week that the mayor’s schedule doesn’t allow him to meet with a reporter, even though he’s said he will comment on town business only during such a meeting.

The mayor, who is a private lawyer, is working on two long-term court cases and has a final Town Council meeting to prepare for, “so he’s trying to get a lot of things done,” Wheelock said in a voice mail. “Right now, I don’t think he has any time because, traveling back and forth to courts, it’s difficult to insert something during the day.”

McCoy has said in the past that all town information must come through him.

McCoy is not running for re-election as mayor but is considering seeking the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. His salary is $20,749.

Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, which allows for the inspection of public records during normal business hours, the Journal Inquirer on Sept. 29 requested to view a work contract McCoy signed with a Manchester law firm to complete town business.

The request was made in a voice mail left on McCoy’s cellphone, but his response came via email.

“Please do not call my cellphone anymore. Please make an appointment with my executive assistant and schedule a time to meet, at which time I will respond to your questions,” McCoy wrote. “I have a couple of openings towards the end of October.”

Wheelock responded to a meeting request Wednesday and said in a voice mail that McCoy “really has a very limited schedule at this point.”

Later, Wheelock clarified her voice mail statement, saying she meant only that he doesn’t have any time for a meeting “right now — meaning presently, in the next week or so.”

There are just over three weeks left until the municipal election Nov. 8.

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