It took me a few days to get public records from Buckeye Lake Village Fiscal Officer Mary Jennings. I was requesting copies of invoices from Village Solicitor Mark Gardner and copies of the phone bills for unauthorized phone calls. I asked that the public records be emailed to me. First Jennings told me to get the records from council member, but then agreed to get them to me.
The first couple of attempts were unsuccessful. Instead of being given the actual invoices from the solicitor, I was given the amounts that he was paid. I responded by saying that I wanted the actual invoices that give a breakdown of his bill. Jennings’ response was, “Mark Gardner’s invoices are a mix of court and village expenses. Mark does not separate the two.” That, clearly turned out not to be the case, but I had to go down and pay for hard copies including invoices listing specific tasks.
Here’s some of issues covered by the bills:
• Phone call with Mayor Carroll regarding council persons interfering with village business & personnel
• Research strong mayor issue from (a resident)
• Research issue of mayor voting to break tie vote
• Research issue of removal of president by council
• Reviewed council packet including proposed Ordinance for Police Bond
• Reviewed email regarding levy history
What I DIDN’T see in the solicitor’s invoices are more than a few minutes of research devoted to a phone bill for OVER $15,000 from an alleged hacking of the village’s phone system. (You may remember Mayor Carroll using a derogatory term to describe negotiating that bill down to $5800 instead of the $15,000.) However, the Fiscal Officer submitted an insurance claim stating that the charges were $25,000! That claim was summarily rejected by the village’s insurer.
Recently, I heard that our police chief had wrecked an ATV (while supposedly working) and was hospitalized for a short time because of it. I saw him on his ATV just prior to the crash and was surprised that he was in plain clothes, riding this ATV on the streets and SIDEWALKS, wearing absolutely no protection of any kind.
My concern was the message he was sending to our children and other residents. Residents can no longer drive a golf cart on village streets without having to make it street worthy (lights, windshield, windshield wipers, etc.), get it inspected by the Buckeye Lake Police, and buy a license plate and insurance. In this “do as I say not as I do” community….maybe we should all get ATV’s to ride around wherever we want!
More next week…