Saturday, January 25, 2014

Letter Supporting The Town Board

This is a letter that was submitted to me by Dan Peterson.   For the record, I do not agree with much of anything stated by Peterson, it is however a rather accurate barometer reading showing the conditions of the political climate of the Town.

I don’t understand all of these negative comments and personal attacks, on some of our current elected officials. We of course should scrutinize the actions of our town board as taxpayers we certainly have a vested interest in how our town runs.

If someone chooses to publicly post negative comments about someone else I feel it is appropriate to be specific about what it is we are unhappy about, if comments are only general it may appear to be more like whining than fact based scrutiny, and leaves little room for accurate rebuttal.

I feel that our town has been improving in many ways since Dale Hunneyman and Brent Sweet took office, I am not happy with every decision made, but overall I believe the facts show we are moving in the right direction. So here are the facts to the best of my knowledge, if I have anything wrong please let me know, I am always happy to debate any issues as long as we debating facts and not fiction or speculations stated as facts.

When Dale and Brent took office they found that many things concerning our towns finances were not in order, and that standard accounting mechanisms used by every town everywhere were not being used in our town. This gave them great concern and led them to seek assistance from state comptroller to try to reconcile town records that were incomplete or missing. This was important because the state has very specific laws on how taxpayers moneys can be spent, as well as appropriate record keeping. They heard rumors of records being destroyed, and possible embezzlement!

They acted and investigated these rumors as they should have, after all they were elected by the taxpayers of this town to oversee the towns business. The comptroller completed their audit listing numerous concerns which most have already been in local news papers this past summer, talking about former Highway superintendent Dave Bain and former supervisor Martha Millet.

Is it Dale and Brent’s fault that Martha wrote checks out to herself and did not provide receipts? Why would she write a check out to herself personally? Why not just write a check for what ever she was purchasing? To my knowledge to date she still has not provided proof of where money was spent! Our money! yours and mine! Mr. Bain allowed $14,000 worth of fuel to disappear, ignoring state guidelines for controlling inventory, and was basically named personally responsible by comptroller! Did you happen to read this audit? The comptroller has no vested interest in this town. They are an objective third party. Mr. Bain was alleged to have misused taxpayers money in various ways as well as destroying records. To my knowledge he has never satisfactorily defended these allegations, so the black cloud hangs over his head still. He complains that he came under unjust scrutiny by Dale and Brent, but the Facts bear that the scrutiny was warranted! Dave Bain made decisions and now he has to live by those decisions as we all must! Its not someone else’s fault! If his work ethic is so great why was Andy Davis basically doing his job the last 2 years!

Andy checked the roads in the middle of the night more often than Dave whom we paid damn good money to do so and bought him a brand new truck! Where was Dave and his new truck? Home in his warm bed truck in driveway! Ask any guy that works at the barn who ran that barn the last 2 years they will all answer Andy Davis!

It is my humble opinion that that Dale and Brent are only guilty of having to deal with all of this unpleasantness dumped in their lap on election day. The former regimes claim to fame is enacting lifetime health care for themselves, buying ice arena from village and then sinking around a million dollars into it, neither of these were put up to public referendum as they should have been. Or were subject to long term cost analysis to determine if taxpayers could afford such luxuries. They blew around $100,000 on bumper car venture that many opposed and tried to convince them not to do! These are just a few examples of the haphazard way the former regime spent our money. The financial health of our town is vital to all of us! We rely on important services the town provides and no one wants to pay higher taxes to perpetuate waste or neglect.

This brings me to Ron Thomson’s appointment to town board. The appointment as you know is temporary, there will be an election in November. I have nothing against Tom Petrie, I feel Ron was better choice for several reasons. He has attended nearly every town meeting over the last year showing considerable interest in town business. Because of this he is up to speed on everything that has taken place over last year as well as what’s currently on agenda. He has put a lot of personal time and money into the last election, holding meetings and fostering an environment open to everyone! These informational meetings were to inform the public on various issues and were not exclusive but open to everyone and all opinions. These meetings demonstrated to me Ron’s openness to debate and tolerance of other points of view. The only agenda I could see was for taxpayers to be fairly represented, and proper stewardship of tax dollars. Mr. Thompson trailed by very few votes in Primary, and had not put out even 1 sign! Finally given our current finical situation Ron’s years of business experience will be a key asset in getting the town running cost effectively.

In conclusion I am perplexed on why the decisions of current town board seem upsetting to some people, given the comparison to pervious board? These seem to be sound decisions made with careful review.

Dan Peterson

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