Sunday, May 11
It was brought to my attention that there was some mean spirited chatter on the Egremont Forum. The person who called me was upset that these tactics were being used again. This is what Marjorie Wexler posted on the Egremont forum, and I quote:
There was a comment that Kevin Zurrin "single-handedly uncovered the billing problems at the water department." However, this seems inconsistent with the timeline as I’ve been able to determine it, based largely on Selectboard (BoS) minutes. It was in August 2011 that a committee was formed to investigate the Water Department, several months before Kevin was ever appointed to the Finance Committee (Jan 2012). The investigating committee determined that billing for the water was inaccurate and should be taken over by the town.
In Feb 2013, a full year after the investigating committee issued their report, Kevin claimed that funds were missing from Town Hall. He insinuated that Mary Brazie was involved. Not only did BoS and Finance Committee (FinCom) members express concern about Kevin’s use of his FinCom membership to independently investigate the water billing issues (Feb 27, 2013), but also a thorough audit revealed that no billed money was missing from Town Hall, and his claims were unsubstantiated. Kevin was ultimately removed from FinCom, at least in part due to his unauthorized use of his FinCom credentials to talk to the Record.
The only thing he "single-handedly uncovered" (missing funds) was proven to be wrong. The billing problems were known before he involved himself.
This was my reply:
If what you say is true then we have bigger problems than the Water Company, and Charlie Flynn should be held responsible at least in part because he was on that committee. I can only assume you are referring to the committee that hired Jack Sullivan, who produced the "Sullivan Report". This committee consisted of Ralph Noveck, Charlie Flynn Steve Agar, and Richard Allen.
If this committee discovered that Jack Muskrat was not billing 12 times per year then the town should have been informed immediately and the selectmen should have fired Jack then and there. This did not happen.
As I have said many times Steve Agar informed me of this fact and I in turn informed the town. If Steve Agar had informed the committee of this fact then we should have dealt with the situation in 2011 rather than 2013. How much money did the taxpayers of Egremont lose in this two year period?
In regard to your false accusation that I accused Mary of being involved; perhaps you should check your facts before you make such a statement. Mary herself admitted on April 1, 2013 that I had never accused her of anything and that she only felt that I accused her.
You say that I was removed from the finance committee for using FC credentials to talk to the Record. Again, please check your facts before you write something about me. Charlie Flynn withdrew that charge because, as he said, "There was no evidence to support this allegation".
For the record I never claimed that any money was missing; I stated emphatically that tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars were unaccounted for. That statement turned out to be true. Fortunately I have a public record of every claim I have made. Everything is in writing and I have posted it publicly. Perhaps you should read the facts before you post a public statement.
I don’t mind you saying mean spirited and negative things about me; but please make sure the facts are correct. You seem to be misinforming the people, which is the very thing you accuse me of.
Richard Allen who was on the committee wrote:
Marj's explanation (and obvious attempt to influence the election) is not accurate. I was on the committee she refers to. As its reports - including my minority report - show, it never identified any billing problems. A water consultant hired by the committee reported that their was a large discrepancy between water being produced and water being billed, but that was thought by the committee to be partly just a bookkeeping anomaly and more likely leaks in the system. No one on the committee thought it was the grossly negligent underbilling that was occurring. That underbilling is what Kevin began to publicly espouse, and subsequent investigation by the finance committee and reported by it led to the conclusion that underbilling was rampant, confirmed by the audit.