Support, not negativity

To the Valley News:

Ken Fenimore showed his true colors in the negative letter regarding our newly elected Elizabethtown Supervisor, Margaret Bartley. He was already attacking her even before she took office. Fenimore wants to make her look bad, with mistruths and twisted logic. At the Jan. 3 organizational meeting, Fenimore said the Town Board couldn’t conduct official business until a new board member was sworn in. But in last week’s letter, he accused Supervisor Bartley of conducting official business and holding secret meetings (which he was invited to) before she was sworn in. You can’t have it both ways Ken!

He also accused Bartley of firing the outgoing Supervisor’s clerk. By New York State law, the clerk to the Supervisor is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Supervisor. When a Supervisor leaves office that appointment ends. Perhaps the previous secretary would have learned that Bartley wasn’t going to reappoint her if she had responded to communication from Bartley and her request for transition information. No one was fired. Her appointment just ended when Merrihew’s term ended.

In an attempt to improve a very outdated ethics policy, Bartley proposed a new Ethics policy, which was recommended by the New York State Association of Towns. Fenimore made ridiculous comments at the Jan 3 meeting, saying the new policy would not allow town employees to use public restrooms. Fenimore would rather stay with an old obsolete policy.

Bartley did meet with the comptroller’s office to discuss the corrective action plan imposed on the Town following the 2010 audit. That report discovered many problems with Elizabethtown’s bookkeeping, including a failure to even balance the checkbooks during the Merrihew administration. Since February 2010 the Town has been required to hire an outside auditor to reconcile the bank statements every month, as well as help with payroll. The Comptroller will not lift the corrective action plan even with a new Supervisor.

It’s time to support our new board and supervisor. This negative press is not healthy for our town. Lets move forward and let our new Town Board work for us. Mr. Fenimore needs to accept the fact that his brother-in-law, Noel Merrihew, lost the election and Bartley was the choice of the majority of Elizabethtown voters.

Harry Gough


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