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Residents continue questioning Wayne board

WAYNE—The Wayne town board received a copy of the completed 2009 financial report at the Tuesday, July 13 meeting.
Supervisor Stephen Butchko said the report was submitted to the New York State Comptroller's Office that very day.  According to the comptroller's Web site, Wayne's report was due March 1.
At the June meeting, Butchko said he received an extension to file the finances late.  However, at the July 13 meeting, resident Lois Wood said she had contacted the comptroller's office asking if this was true.
Wood presented a letter from the Office of the State Comptroller from Anthony J. Dolan, manager.  In the letter Dolan said there is nothing in his records of an extension being granted.  He added the town was sent four "delinquency letters addressed to Supervisor Stephen Butchko regarding this matter."
Bill Reynolds, office of communications representative for the comptroller, confirmed this.  Wood added Butchko never mentioned receiving those four letters, which she said should be public knowledge.
At the meeting, the board did not respond to Wood’s comments.  When asked afterwards, Butchko said, "all I know are the conversations I had with the state."  He said he had phone conversations with the comptroller's office and a representative had been at the town the night before the meeting to finish the financial report.
"I don't have time for accusations," said Butchko.  He added, "it's hard to expend energy on negativity."
Butchko explained that to deal with issues the town is facing, he has retained the help of John Leyden, assistant attorney for Steuben County.  However, he said to pay for his services, Butchko is not taking the supervisor's salary.  Leyden even met with the board at the July 13 meeting, during an executive session.
"That executive session was about potential litigation on matters from the previous administration.  I inherited that,” said Butchko.  No action was taken after the session.
"We need to achieve cooperation in moving forward with a new administration," said board member Dennis Carlson.  He added that the lack of cooperation benefits no one in the town.
During 2009's November election, Dawn Dowdle, then supervisor of Wayne, was alone on the ballot for town supervisor.  However, Butchko won the position with a write-in campaign.  According to the Steuben County Board of Elections, Butchko received 176 votes, and Dowdle had 143.
With the 2009 annual report submitted, Butchko said that now the town needs to start working on 2010 numbers.  Board member Barney Hubbs added that the board will soon need to start working on next year's 2011 budget.
"I don't want to see (the budget) one penny over last year," said Hubbs.
After the meeting, Hubbs said he has “been concerned some time, primarily with finances.”  He added that until the finances for the first half of this year are completed, the town doesn’t know exactly what state it is in.
Hubbs said that he knows at least in some areas the town is overdrawn.  He explained that according to his own, unofficial tallying, the legal fund is over by a few hundred dollars.  However, he reiterated that until the finances are caught up, that is unofficial.  Hubbs added transfers of unused funds could balance the overdrawn sections.
Also at the meeting, Wood filed a complaint against Carlson for his attitude towards her, June 29, 2010 in the town hall.  She said he "raised his voice in anger" and described his actions as "rude and uncalled for."  Wood added there were four witnesses, including Butchko.  When asked about this, Carlson said "no comment."
During open comment, members of the public (about 30 residents were in attendance) asked if concerns brought up during previous meetings would be addressed by the board.  Those questions include:
• Changing the job descriptions of the bookkeeper and clerk, without the board voting.
• Terminating Bookkeeper Maureen Kurtz without reason (though she was ultimately reinstated).
• Hiring an outside agency to do the town's finances.
Carlson said the issue of "out sourcing" financial duties of the town had already been retracted at the May 11 meeting.
Resident Dawn Dowdle asked about the supervisor rewriting job descriptions, as brought up during the previous meeting by Geraldine Gleason Simmons.  Butchko said he never rewrote the deputy town clerk's job description.  He said he did give her an outline to help in her duties as she was just starting.
In other business at the July 13 meeting:
• Highway Superintendent John McIntire was approved to pursue a Road Use Agreement proposal for the town, costing no more than $2,500.  McIntire explained what he wants the town to ultimately adopt would be the first of three phases.  He said a RUA makes a company coming into the town, explain which roads it will use to transport equipment.
• Leyden will write a pre-draft law for the town to approve New York State's retirement incentive program.  McIntire said there is only one town employee that qualifies, a highway worker that wants into Part A.
The next regular meeting will be Tuesday, Aug. 10, at 7 p.m.


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