What's wrong with 'Official Use Only' in Tyrone?
TYRONE—The town of Tyrone has voted to remove “For Official Use Only” from seven pieces of town equipment, after just having the vehicles custom lettered.
Tyrone resident and business owner, Terry Povoski, did the lettering on seven pieces of equipment for the town. In September, the board approved him to put a new logo (Waneta and Lamoka Lakes) with “Town of Tyrone” written around it on five trucks, one grader and one bulldozer. Povoski explained he also added the words “For Official Use Only” to the equipment.
He added this wording because Povoski said he has seen town equipment providing services to individuals and he thought the wording would help keep misuse from happening. Povoski billed Tyrone $595 for the new logo and town name, but he said he did not charge any extra for adding “For Official Use Only.” When getting authorization to do the work, Povoski said he spoke with then-Supervisor Lisa Bishop about adding the extra wording to the trucks. Povoski said Bishop thought it was a good idea.
When the newspaper asked Bishop about the work, she said she didn’t want to talk about it. She added, “the town can give you the correct information.”
Povoski said he submitted his bill to the town during the Tuesday, Nov. 15, Tyrone board meeting. No motion was made on it at that time. However, Povoski said he received a voice message from current Tyrone Supervisor Gary Jackson later in the month, which he still has recorded.
According to Povoski, Jackson said the town board unanimously decided that “For Official Use Only” had to be removed from the equipment before Povoski would receive payment.
When asked, Jackson said that the matter is “between Povoski and the board.” He did say the board held a second, executive meeting in November, but would not give specifics because it was a closed meeting.
“If it was (discussed at the meeting) I wouldn’t be able to tell you,” said Jackson. “Am I saying it was? No.”
However, Jackson explained the board did not vote on paying the bill at the November meeting, because the town clerk would not present it as an abstract until the December meeting. Jackson did not return several phone calls to the newspaper about the voice message left on Povoski’s phone.
At the Tuesday, Dec. 13, meeting, the Tyrone town board discussed the work and Povoski’s bill. Povoski also submitted a letter to the board with his concerns and also gave a copy to The Observer. About adding “For Official Use Only” Jackson said, “Lisa Bishop gave him permission. She had no right.” After discussion and comments from the public, the board did approve paying Povoski for the new logo, but that the town highway department would just remove the “For Official Use Only” lettering.
Resident Michelle Gee asked if it was true that the white lettering had already been removed from some of the trucks. The question was not addressed by the board in the back-and-forth between officials and the public. As of Dec. 8, the lettering was already gone from at least three vehicles. Povoski added he just wants to know why the board does not want “For Official Use Only” on the town trucks.
Jackson replied with, “when have you seen ‘For Official Use Only’ on other vehicles?” Povoski said he has seen that on state and military vehicles.
When asked what the town policy for personal use of Tyrone equipment was, Jackson said “I don’t know. I’m just starting.” Jackson was appointed in October to fill the role because Supervisor Lisa Bishop moved out of the town. Jackson ran a successful write-in campaign and won the position in the November general election.
Official use of the town vehicles was also brought up by Povoski at the Tuesday, Dec. 13, Tyrone meeting. He said, “I’ve seen unofficial use of the equipment.” Board member Pamela Grimmke said, “There needs to be a formal complaint. Most of the time it can be explained.”
“Residents need help,” said board member Joe Sevier. “I don’t see why not help them.” Highway Superintendent Paul Ernhout added he has helped various residents throughout the town with work.