Evelyn Wood inherited a mess. She studied, asked questions, attended county meetings and did her very best to educate herself on procedures, policies and issues. She, along with the highway superintendent jumped to immediate action when our roads and bridges were washed away. She declared a state of emergency and fought to get as much financial assistance from FEMA, the state and the county. They worked tirelessly to make our roads safe and passable in record time. She took her fiscal responsibility seriously taking steps to insure OUR money was handled properly and that all accounting was in order. She was accused by our current Supervisor of making the job much harder than it had to be. After reading the letter from the Comptroller’s office, it is apparent that her handling of the books was spot on, with the exception of suggestions on how Whitespace and the garbage bags were handled. She implemented new software recommended by the State to insure there were plenty of checks and balances in place to catch errors. Her door was open to ALL board members to review the books and ask questions. That is what I call transparency. Yes, there were issues in town that didn’t make her popular with some. The demise of the EMS for one. I don’t think anyone in town wanted to lose the EMS including Ms. Wood. But the state’s stringent requirements forced a difficult decision. Volunteer EMS squads are in trouble around the country and ours was no exception. Many did not agree with Whitespace and condemn it daily. I am the first to agree it didn’t turn out the way we had hoped. But at least she LISTENED and RESPONDED to what the citizens were asking for and she was brave enough to try and find a solution.
As I stated before, our current Supervisor publicly stated that Ms. Wood made things harder than they had to be. Well let’s look at our current Supervisor’s record. Since taking office, she has not completed any monthly financials, too many meetings are not posted with adequate time for citizens to attend, posted resolutions don’t always get addressed during the meetings, and last minute resolutions get added. Seems there is an attempt to confuse the citizens. Transparency? I think not. Let’s see…the monthly bills are no longer read at the meetings, but we were promised that they would be posted the next day. Not happening. And the real kick in the pants is that while she draws a salary to run this town, we are paying an attorney and a CPA to do her job. We have the bills to prove it folks! Thousands spent on attorney and CPA fees. And when you ask questions at the meetings you don’t really get the answers. Not one board member could explain the process in which we obtained funding for the capital improvement project (water contamination remediation) or why we went for a Band Anticipation Note instead of serial bonds. And wait folks, there’s more! It seems that the state and other bookkeepers from other municipalities don’t know what they are talking about. Our current (and new as of the end of 2015) accounting software isn’t good. The Supervisor and current board have voted to spend just a few dollars shy of $5,000.00 of YOUR money to re purchase the old software. This decision comes after spending several hundred dollars for training on the current software to date. They claim they can’t do this year’s books without access to previous years, specifically 2013 and ’15. Nope, not true folks. The state has stated that previous years have nothing to do with the current year. This all sounds a bit fishy, right? The truth is, they are either incapable of learning the system, or desperately want to do some fishing of their own to prove that Ms. Wood was crooked.
Well after doing my homework, asking questions, and reading hard, documented FACTS, this is what this resident thinks….when you, the board is asked a question, stop answering by including some derogatory remark about the previous board. They are gone. You won. Stop trying to cause trouble for the highway Superintendent and his men because the previous board didn’t vote your way on Bear Pond Road. And stop blaming your inability to run this town on Evelyn. It’s not her fault that you can’t learn the software. Stop digging for problems that don’t exist by spending our hard earned tax dollars on programs we don’t need.
The letter posted from the Comptroller’s office proved that. Your actions to date are egregious to say the very least. And for Gods sake, stop crying about how Ms. Wood abandoned her town. Some of you worked tirelessly to drive her out. You won. So stop your whining and finger pointing. Here is what we, the residents of Thurman want you to do…put on your big girl/boy pants and START DOING YOUR JOB AND WHAT IS BEST FOR ALL RESIDENTS OF THIS TOWN OR WE WILL VOTE IN PEOPLE WHO WILL!!!