Del Gallo said the decision was not made to secure the recovery of ALS fees previous already collected by REMS but not turned over to the town.
Board member Wayne Calder, abstained from voting, and Nicola DiLeva was absent, but the 3-0 vote in support of REMS was enough to make the decision final either way. Right before choosing REMS, the board also unanimously voted in support of allowing Supervisor Frank Del Gallo to negotiate reimbursement of advanced life support money previously collected by REMS. If negotiations fail, the town would proceed with litigation, but REMS seemed willing to reach an agreement.
"We look forward to discussions with the supervisor to settle the question on the advance life support reimbursements from the past, and we look forward to continuing our service to the town that we have been doing for over 75 years," said Peter Brodie, spokesman for REMS, before the vote.
Calder previously said his son-in-law works for Mohawk, so he had the Town Attorney David Devaprasad look into any potential legal conflict legally in his voting to award a bid. While Calder didn't see a conflict, nor did his personal attorney, Devaprasad recommended he didn't vote. State law didn't appear to restrict Calder, he said, but the town code is stricter.
"This isn't what I wanted. I wanted to be able to vote," said Calder. "After being here for 30 years I have worked with all the ambulances, including Mohawk and REMS. ... If anybody knows about emergency services, I do."
DiLeva said during the board's agenda meeting on Monday, May 9, she would "rush" over to try and be present for the vote, but the May 11 meeting was on the same night of a previous engagement. Months in advance, she informed the board she wouldn't be available on that evening.