I was taken back a little by your article in the Berkshire Record painting this spectacle as a feud between the Egremont Board of Select and the Finance committee. That was before I saw your tongue planted firmly in your cheek. So for those who don’t get the joke let me point out a few things. First; there is no feud between the BoS and the FC. While the BoS does have a problem with me; they do not have a problem with the other members of the committee. The BoS and Charlie Flynn in particular, reserve their acrimony for me personally. The BoS and I have a difference of opinion on how public, public information is. As I told Mr. Flynn, open meeting means that anything that is said can be used in the court of public opinion.
One of the main reasons that the town bylaws do not address the removal of appointed committee members is so that the committee is free to investigate all aspects of an issue without fear of retaliation. We all remember what happened when Nixon fired Cox. Without the ability of the public to fully investigate a matter there can be no transparency.
Now let me address Mr. Flynn’s comments. Charlie accuses me of “not having the right information”. What he failed to mention is that any information quoted by me came from town officials, employees and public records. I did not make up the information. Speaking of wrong information, I assume the 314 users Charlie mentions is a typo of 214; which is the number of users commonly quoted. However, according to the records there are actually only 177 accounts on the water system. I agree with Mr. Flynn that in the end there will likely be shown to be no malfeasance and nothing is missing. However in spite of the dept. of revenues' annual review and an independent audit; we can’t ignore the fact that the numbers still don’t add up.
Mr. Flynn also said that the BoS worked very hard to reduce the deficits in the water dept. What he didn’t say is that by rewriting the water dept loan they turned a $71,000.00 annual payment into a $117,000.00 payment. Unfortunately this actually increased the annual deficit by $46,000.00. Now the water users and taxpayers will have to pay an extra $21.66 per meter per month for the next ten years. But in all fairness it did reduce the overall cost of the loans by $275,000.00
Mary is quoted as saying that the selectmen regarded my accusations as “slanderous” and impugning the integrity of the town treasurer, the town accountant and herself. The record shows that I made no accusations against anyone. Essentially the BoS could be perceived as doing exactly what they accuse me of; Slander, vilification and defamation.
Mr. Scribner, you know exactly what I said to you about the unaccounted for funds when we talked on the phone Feb. 22nd. Not to mention that you are one of the 172 people on my email list. In your article you claim that I “accused three town officials of mishandling between $40,000.00 to $60,000.00 in water department funds that are unaccounted for”. I take exception, I never said that. My constant mantra has been that there are tens of thousands of unaccounted dollars in the water fund. This being said, I have to ask you where in any of my emails or blog articles, have I ever made any accusations against anyone. I don’t mind if you print misinformation quoted from unreliable sources; but if you would please quote me correctly.