Real issue taxes, not statements

To the Valley News:

Much has been written about the infamous “ breach of financial security “ with regard to the release of Town of Elizabethtown bank statements, which reflect nearly a million in cash as of 12/31/2012.

It’s true the Town Hall failed to honor my specific request to black out the account numbers, but I don’t believe their error rises to the level of a “critical mistake,“ as characterized by the editors of the Valley News. Nor do I think it was necessary to cancel all the accounts in an emergency meeting, which, yet again, violated Open Meetings Law.

The taxpayers money was never at risk, yet Supervisor Bartley said “someone with the town’s bank-account numbers could empty the accounts with electronic transfers,” but this ignores the fact that two town officials must sign off on all wire transfers. It also ignores that for decades the town has sent out checks with the account numbers on them.

Tellingly, no authority, other than the newspapers, has contacted me about this non-issue. I believe the real issue should be why taxes were increased when the town ended the year with a million in cash, not a politically contrived “ security crisis.”

It’s the time of year for persons interested in running for public office to pick up petitions to get on the Nov. ballot. Two town council seats and the Supervisor position are available and it‘s this majority, this quorum, that you need to be concerned about.

The councilperson job is not as difficult as you might think and it pays about $3,800 a year. The Supervisor job is more difficult and essentially full time. The pay has varied with experience, but ranges from $ 38,000-$45,000 including the County stipend.

I shall not be running for office. I must step aside, not be a distraction, and let the election process play out, but it should be obvious that the town needs people to step up. Honesty and competence must prevail. The Valley News describes a “ clash for power “ for the last year-and-a-half, but it actually started over five years ago and there‘s more to it than you know. E’town really needs to normalize and the status quo is not going to get us there.

Ken Fenimore, Elizabethtown

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