Friday, August 29, 2014

THE RATIONALE BEHIND THE FINANCE COMMITTEE ---- by Larry Fillmore


At the last Town Council workshop, Mr. Fern LaRochelle shared with the group the rationale behind the formation of the Finance Committee.  According to Mr. LaRochelle it was on the recommendation of the Auditors.  However, this is not exactly what the Auditors recommended.  The Auditors noted the lack of any checks and balances; the lack of accountability and finally everyone was doing whatever they pleased.  The Auditors never gave instructions to form the Finance Committee.

In order to correct these deficiencies, the Town Council (Chairman Michael Bowie; Lori Pomelow and Fern LaRochelle) decided to disband the Budget Advisory Board and form the Finance Committee.  This required a Charter change and approval by the people during the November election.  By the way, each of these former councilors is now current members of the Finance Committee.   Each member of the Finance Committee was appointed by the Town Council and not elected by the people as was the case with the Budget Advisory Board.

The Budget Advisory Board was replaced by the Finance Committee instead of updating the mission of the Budget Advisory Board to include establishing check and balances in order to provide more accountability.  The Budget Advisory Board had for the last two years of its existence voted NOT to support the proposed municipal budget.  These were honest citizens whose only purpose was to look out for the best interest of the community.  

This the Town Council could not stand because it meant losing control of them doing whatever they pleased.  In order to prevent losing control, the Town Council dissolved the Budget Advisory Board and formed the Finance Committee and loaded it with former councilors.  This way they can continue their questionable behavior without anyone interfering with them.  This is the very reason this town is in the financial situation it is and clearly explains how these same councilors spent over two (2) million ($2,000,000.00) dollars of our Undesignated Fund without anyone knowing.  The former Town Councilors did not want anyone looking into their past procedures.

This explains why the Budget Advisory Board was eliminated instead of updating their mission to include establishing checks and balances in order to provide more accountability.  It also explains why the Finance Committee is loaded with former councilors.  

Larry Fillmore