BOC meeting - How we
of the TWG attended the last BOC meeting. We saw some things a
little differently than what was reported in the “News”. We
will follow the agenda in our comments.
First, it was
notable that all Commissioners were present and on time for the
meeting. In a gesture of goodwill, Chairman Bernard asked
Commissioner Pennamon to lead everyone in the Pledge of
Allegiance. Pennamon had to make several remarks and faces
and finally said, “Well, you do it like this, I pledge allegiance…”
Commissioner Pennamon started the meeting trying to provoke comments
and continued throughout the meeting.
for the meeting was approved, and then the 3/2/05 minutes were
approved with both Hill and Pennamon voting against. This was the
meeting that they both boycotted concerning hiring a new attorney.
Comm. Pennamon also voted not to approve the last meeting
minutes (3/7/05). Another “problem” he seems to have
since he was defeated, but continues to “serve”.
then made the Finance report.
He said he had gotten the reports on time and that the departments
were holding the line. He then called on Mary Patrick of the
Committee to present a report. According to the Monticello News--
“Mary Patrick said she wanted to be sure
everyone knows the books are done, the bank statements reconciled.
She said the bank balance on the four accounts that could be
accessed at the end of 2004 was $328,000. She said of that, only
$90,00 could be used as of January 1, the rest was encumbered.”
THIS IS NOT WHAT WAS
A general report of the cash available was given to each
commissioner at the meeting. Mrs. Patrick said that the bank
reconciliation for December was done. There had been some
question as to if it was being prepared. At a February meeting,
Comm. Hill said “they (the BOC) didn’t’ t know where they stood.”
The finance committee requested the bank reconcilations and copies
of the bank statements. Basically this is where the County
stood financially as of 1/1/05:
Total shown on Bank Statement at 12/31/04 $328,466
Deposits in Transit
Deduct checks written but not cleared
Balance as 1/1/05 $
Patrick also mentioned that this is a far cry from the $1,000,000
that Comm. Pennamon says was in the bank. This does not mean,
“the books are done” as reported in the News. Only
the auditor will be able to determine if the books are complete and
if they are done correctly.
then reported “Mr.
Bernard said that he had found an unpaid balance for
insurance from 2004 from ACCG for $74,000, and an engineering bill
really said that ACCG had called to inform them that a bill
dated 10/1/04 for insurance in the amount of $74, 301.75 had
not yet been paid. He also said there was a bill dated in 2004 for
$25,000 for Dobbs Environmental.
If there was so much money in the bank according to Comm. Pennamon,
why weren’t these bills paid on time? Former Commissioner
Bennett was also in attendance, but made no comment as to why these
bills might have been left for the new BOC.
Why weren’t these bills “encumbered”, meaning put on
the books as payables in 2004 instead of letting them be a surprise
for the new board? If they had been encumbered, the balance
available to the new BOC would have been a MINUS $10,000.
Next on the
Agenda was the Library Termite Treatment. After the
bids were read out, Comm. Pennamon started his rhetoric again. It’s
usually his job to see how long he can talk on a subject, delay the
vote, and drag out the meeting. According to the News,
asked the representative if Bizzy Bee would lower its "bid," and he
said he would. However, in unison, several members of the audience
said, ‘that's illegal.’”
“The Commissioner” was Comm. Pennamon. AFTER the bids had
been read out, he asked Bizzy Bee, who was the highest of
the 3, to lower their bid. There was quite a bit of reaction from
several people in the audience. Comm. Bernard asked the Attorney
about it, and he advised that they had a policy to follow and bids
had been gotten. According to county policy the lowest bid would be
accepted unless there was some reason not to. Comm. Yarbrough
commented that this was a “one time fix, not a contract for
continuing treatment.” Comm. Johnson said he wanted to see
something done because this had already been delayed. The vote was
4-1 with Comm. Pennamon voting against.
The only other item on the agenda that
wasn’t tabled was the DNR Consent Agreement.
According to the News—“…
in reference to capping the sanitary landfill. Commissioner Johnson
made motion to send a check for $5,600 from the landfill account to
the DNR. Mr. Nix suggested they amend the motion to authorize the
chairman to sign the consent order and send it with the payment to
the DNR. The motion passed 3-2, with commissioners Charles Hill and
Carl Pennamon dissenting. The consent order gives the county
180days from the time the DNR receives the check to complete capping
the landfill. Without the consent order, the county has 180 days
from November 8, 2004, to cap the landfill, then it would be fined
$100 a day until the capping is complete.”
Hill and Pennamon against—why? Just to be against it?
Do they present any alternatives? No! They need to think about the
taxpayers and the county instead of their petty likes and dislikes.
Without this consent agreement, the 180 days would be up May 8,
2005. Not nearly long enough to get the landfill capped. A fine of
$100 per day adds up fast. $5600 isn’t desirable, but much better
than paying $100 per day! Wasn’t it Pennamon that said at the
debates during the campaign that he could work with anybody? It
seems he doesn’t want to work with anybody. He even votes against
approving the meeting minutes! We hope Mr. Wright will soon be able
to take his position so the county can move forward!
The new attorney,
John Nix, certainly earned his money Monday night. He did keep the
BOC from adding to the agenda, clarified policy, and generally kept
them in line. He also researched the law about the BOA. We do
believe this is the first time in a long time that there has been
legal advice given at a BOC meeting in order to keep the BOC out of