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Wayne faces financial questions

WAYNE—After concerns and complaints about how finances have been handled, the Wayne town board agreed to revert back to in-house checks and using services already paid for.
Close to 40 residents attended the Tuesday, May 11 of the Wayne town board. Dawn Dowdle, former supervisor, spoke during public comment with financial and authority concerns. She said that Supervisor Steve Butchko has procured an outside firm to process and issue payroll and accounts payable checks.
“The result of this recent action, payrolls have been paid late, vacation and sick time has not been recorded or paid as used, and the information is no longer updated to the town’s accounting system,” said Dowdle.
Highway Superintendent John McEntire agreed, calling on the several highway employees present if this was true.
Dowdle explained that the town has already invested in software to process checks and keep the accounting up-to-date. She called hiring an outside company an unnecessary additional expense. She also asked the board if this action had been approved or instituted by Butchko without a vote. Dowdle pointed out that under town law, no member may act individually on the board’s behalf.
Following a one hour executive session at the end of the meeting, the town board agreed to use the accounting software already in place, and not an outside agency.
Dowdle also brought up concerns of missing accounts and reported funds. She said that after reviewing this month’s budget report, she noticed the absence of monies. Dowdle said they are:
• $60,000 from the Sylvan Beach/Waneta Road Reserve Fund.
• $208 from Capital Projects—History.
• $50 from petty cash.
• $19,000 from Prepaid Expenses—General.
• $20,000 from Prepaid Expenses—Highway.
• $47,250 from Re-val Reserve.
• $10,646 from Town Hall Water System Reserve.
She added there was also a $56,480 discrepancy in the Building Reserve Fund. Dowdle explained it is currently listed as $10,646, but a transfer in December put it at $67,126. She added, this could be a clerical error.
“As a taxpayer my confidence in the management of town business is shaken and I look to the board to take matters listed seriously and to look for accountability,” said Dowdle. She added, “If the supervisor is ill suited to the financial responsibility of his position and refuses to seek training or assistance from entities such as the State Comptroller (at no charge) or Williamson Law Software Co. and the Association of Towns, which we have already contracted and paid for, perhaps a recall election should be considered.”
At the end of the meeting, the town board also agreed to seek the assistance of such entities for financial matters.
In other business:
• The town board approved $3,860 for concrete sealing on the floors and work on the walls of the town highway barn. McEntire said the county pays half of it.
• Resident Lois Wood also brought up concerns about the building permit fees. She said as the fees were presented, there is a $50 residential application fee, plus an extra $45 for each inspection (site preparation, foundation, structural—framing, plumbing, heating and ventilation, insulation, drywall and final inspection).
• McEntire added he wants the town board to meet with representatives concerning a highway use agreement for damage to roads.
• Resident David Smith submitted a formal request for the village to pay $680 in attorney fees after he was taken to court for code violations, and charges were dropped, as well as a Freedom of Information request for meeting minutes. He said he would file at the court level for it, if he got no response within a week.
The next regular board meeting is Tuesday, June 8, at 7 p.m.

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