2012-03-24 / Editorials & Letters

Legal expenses increasing in Kirkersville


According to Kirkersville public records, $758 was spent in the month of January (2012) for gasoline for the two Kirkersville police cruisers. There were FOUR days in January where gasoline was purchased twice in the same day. Those purchases ranged from $39 to $89 for each day. In December, police officers spent $147.03 for gasoline just in ONE day, but the total fuel cost for the month of December was $936.81 (cost of 3.03 to 3.39 per gallon). Mileage is generally noted on the invoice for one cruiser, but not on the other. The MPG (miles per gallon) ranges anywhere from 15.4 mpg down to only 2.9 mpg.

Fuel costs for the last 6 months of 2011 are: June $310.76; July $381.35; August $376.38; September $347.64; October $609.39; November $689.68; December $936.81.

The cost of legal services from the village solicitor have increased. Kirkersville was billed $1979.50 just for “mayor’s court” services for the month of June; July $1,111.00; August $1,335.00; September $2,783.45; October $4,532.69; November $4,349.75; December $4,312.55; and $6,788.03 for January, 2012. In fact, the itemized invoice for January was about 10 pages long whereas June’s invoice was four pages. The total bill for legal services in the month of January, 2012, was $7,516.03!

The solicitor’s invoices include “general” services but usually consist of only one or two pages of the total invoice. “General” services include attending and preparing for a council meeting which cost the following: June $156.00; July -not noted; August - not noted; September $234.00; October - not noted; November $273.00; December $208.00; January $286.00 (notes that he also reviewed Jan. 3 correspondence from another attorney).

The January council minutes reflect that one council member told the others that the village would be taking in $8,000 less this year than in 2011 and said he would “like to hold off spending any money for the next few months unless we absolutely have to.” I believe this statement was made just after purchasing a police cruiser from Minerva Park for $7,500.

A couple of the seven Kirkersville police officers are recent graduates of the police academy. But two of the seven officers have been together in places such as McArthur, Frazeysburg, Alexandria and Kirkersville. In fact, public records note that they were both “discharged” from Kirkersville in 2004. Public records also indicate that one other officer had been “discharged” from Mt. Sterling Police Department although it appears that he checked “no” (on his application to Kirkersville) in the box that asks, “Have you ever been discharged or asked to resign from any job?”

More next week...
Bonnie Mansfield
Buckeye Lake

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