2007-04-14 / Editorials & Letters

'Watchdog' keeping an eye on village expenditures

Editor:

Public records state that the only Kirkersville street employee has quit and the mayor's son-in-law, John Rohr (also BPA member), "will work until someone can be found." I noticed that Mr. Rohr's timecards are being signed by Mike Cloud, the zoning commission chair rather than Mayor Bennie (Jim) Evans, who had been reviewing and signing them until very recently. The village clerk said it is the street commissioner's responsibility (although no street commissioner had ever signed the time cards before) and he implied that Bennie Evans didn't think he should sign his son-in-law's time card.

I thought that was interesting and also thought Bennie (known as Jim Evans at the county planning commission) should be carrying his sudden realization of nepotism into his work at the county. Bennie inspects county rehab program jobs done by his son-in-law, Steve Piatt (also appointed Kirkersville Council member) through a company that Bennie's daughter co-owns and serves as president. Nevertheless, Bennie Evans reported Mr. Rohr's employment to council two weeks after the fact.

The minutes of March 7th council meeting state that a Mr. Leonard from the Licking County Planning Commission "spoke about using a Comprehensive Plan as a tool to prevent problems in zoning. He "pointed out there would be a cost of $500.00 plus mailings."

Accountability for our tax dollars continues to be lax. The Flying J records show that one police officerspent nearly $30 for gasoline but did not turn in a receipt.

According to public records, council voted to purchase a battery on March 7th. However, an invoice (costing $74.00) for a battery is dated March 1st and was signed by Bennie Evans. Nothing like asking permission to spend taxpayer's money AFTER the charge has been made!

Mike Cloud told council AFTER the truck had been "towed to Bingman's for repair of the electrical system." Two invoices were received from Bingman's for work on the truck and on a cruiser. Both invoices show that alternators were put on two different vehicles. On one vehicle, the "headlights" were also repaired at the cost of $100. Neither of these invoices have dates on them; nor do they include any identifying information, such as the year, model or mileage, of the vehicles repaired. These invoices total $335. The village will also have to pay the cost for the parts, which are billed separately by another company. Towing is another charge paid to a third company and I believe that was $200 as was noted in the cash journal.

Since there is an operating levy on the May ballot, it is important that the citizens know how their tax dollars are being spent. On several occasions in the past, the auditors have noted the importance of obtaining proper invoices and receipts to help insure that money is being used for a proper public purpose.

Bonnie MansfieldKirkersville

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