There have now been two occasions where I have read on the CDN that the Town of Berryville is alleging that $140,000 has been “withheld from the Town by the county”, a statement made repeatedly by the Town Manager very publicly both during the JGC committee meeting, and then during the Town Council regular meeting this last Tuesday – well publicized by the media.
As a consequence of the 1st article of a few days ago, I FOIAed the complete detailed accounts, which the county kindly provided, and took the time to review them. The accounting, done currently by the JAS, is accurate and detailed. The Town Manager’s assertion is totally inaccurate and misleading, while some of his comments were very disparaging.
In fact, it is quite the contrary – the Town has refused to honor its’ JGC agreement with the county concerning FY12 operating expenses from Jan-June, and withheld substantial amounts, while the county has had to act as the banker to fund those payments.
I cannot explain the Town Manager’s reasoning and actions, (which greatly resemble those used against the School Board in 2008/9, and which resulted in the SB paying several hundred thousand dollars in Town improvements, – of which almost $500,000 in cash, – money which should have been used for the students). However, I am guessing that the major cost overruns with the waste water treatment plant and outfall line contracts, and the resulting current Town lawsuit, as well as the impending cost overruns with the HVAC of the JGC, have made a serious dent in the Town’s cash flow – which they hope that once again, county tax dollars will help to mitigate.
As a county taxpayer, I would like to request that:
1) The Board of Supervisors not succumb to such tactics, and, in a spirit of “oh, let’s compromise and give them what they want”, and
2) The Board of Supervisors fully support their own staff’s very accurate and well substantiated position.
In this tight economy, county money needs to be used for county needs – not to throw oil on the Town’s eternally squeaky financial wheel, when they fail to properly manage their own finances. The Town has breached your agreement, not the county.
The Town Manager owes you an apology – preferably public.
Robina Rich Bouffault
Taxpayer – White Post District