Thursday, August 16, 2018

WHO’S IN CHARGE???? by Larry Fillmore


I just reviewed the latest Town Council video and was amazed. The video reflects that the Town Manager, Diane Barnes, ONLY feeds the Town Council information she wants them to know instead of presenting ALL the facts. The Town Council can never reach a sound decision unless they have all the information available on any subject matter. I will explain:

2018-152 Asset Forfeiture Funds – This item was on the agenda because during the budget prepared by Diane Barnes; she conned the Town Council into using taxpayer dollars from the Unassigned Fund Balance instead of using Asset Forfeiture funds available in the Police Department. According to the Recommendations, prepared by the Town Manager, Diane Bares, it says and I quote: “Staff did not recommend the use of forfeiture funds since there is uncertainty in replenishing these funds now and in the future. These assets have been used for matching grant funds for law enforcement equipment.”

The last time I checked, the people elected members of the Town Council to represent them when it comes to spending their money, not Diane Barnes or her staff. The option of using the forfeiture funds should have been presented, at the time of the budget discuss, for the Town Council to decide which way they wanted to go but instead this information was withheld from the Town Council. There is $6,786.04 in Federal funds and $13,972.30 in State funds available to be used for the purchase of the firearms at $7,800.00. The Town Council reversed their decision and is now using the forfeiture funds instead of the Unassigned Fund Balance. This is the right choice, as far as I am concerned.

This is a prime example of how the Town Manager, Diane Barnes, manipulates information she presents to the Town Council to get her way. At first, I blamed the Town Council for making, what I considered poor decisions, but when I started looking into it, I realized they were not getting ALL the information and therefore they could not make a logical and right decision. This has happened a lot and really needs to stop. 

I thank the Town Council and especially Councilor Allen Ward, for getting this on the agenda and correcting this situation. Taxpayers are paying much more in taxes than they should and the Town Council must start looking for ways to cut spending.

Thank you Councilor Ward
.Larry Fillmore