Thursday, October 14, 2010


"Man can not live by incompetence alone". - Charlotte Whitton

The State Comptroller issued a report last week regarding the financial operations of the Village of Johnson City.  Although Mayor Hannon tried to argue that the shortcomings in village finance were someone else's responsibility, a review of the Comptroller's report would reveal otherwise.  The Audit covered the period from June 1, 2008 to August31, 2009.

At the outset, the Comptroller correctly points out that the Village's "..elected five member Board of Trustees is responsible for the general management and control of the Village's finances and operations.  The Mayor, who is a member of the Board, serves as the Village's chief executive officer".  In other words, all five Board members (including the Mayor) share responsibility for all Village finances. 

Hannon, Silas and Balles were all Village Board members during the relevant time frame. Balles has been on the Village Board since 1998.  Hannon was first elected to the Board in 2007 and became Mayor June of 2009.  Silas was elected to the Board in 2008.  If there were deficiencies in the way Village finances were handled during the relevant time frame, these three bear a significant share of responsibility. 

The Comptroller found in relevant part that:
  • The Board failed to provide proper training to the former clerk treasurer and current accounts payable clerk.

  • The Board failed to fulfill its responsibility of  fiscal oversight.

  • The Board did not utilize accurate information as the basis of its budgeting.

  • The Board had no process in place to determine the appropriate balance for reserve for encumbrances.

  • The Board over expended 21 separate budget lines during fiscal year 2008-2009.

  • The Board failed to ensure that Village accounting records were accurate and current.
In short, the Village Board failed to meet its most basic responsibilities to the taxpayers.  Instead of safeguarding the taxpayer's money, Hannon, Silas and Balles have been distracted by petty squabbles and heavy handed power plays.  They pursued frivolous vendettas while the Village finances went unattended.

So now Balles and Silas believe that their performance deserves another term as Village Board members.  It is hard to fathom the arrogance that would lead these two individuals to this conclusion.  But the taxpayers know better.  It is time to turn out the incompetents.  And send a message to the lead incompetent, Hannon.

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