Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Avon Township is another Lake County Township that is Fiscally Irresponsible.

I had an opportunity to attend the monthly board meeting for Avon Township on 12/9/2008. The meeting also included a Levy Hearing for 2009. Surprisingly, both meetings were conducted at 2:45 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. respectively. When questioned why board meeting were conducted at 3:00, the official party-line given to those attending is that in the winter months, the board moves the meetings to the afternoons to encourage the elderly to show up because of the potential of inclement weather in the evenings. Fair enough, but when I looked at the Avon Township Website, it reflects that afternoon meeting are held six months a year. I know we have tough winters here, but six months worth! In my view, afternoon meetings are a deterrent from constituents showing up.

As noted above, there was a Public Hearing for a Levy increase for Avon Township. The Avon Township Board is asking for an 8.9% Levy increase. They told those attending the board meeting the Levy increase would come from “new construction” and would not increase the property taxes of those currently living in the township. In 2008, Avon Township asked a 7.9% increase and received a 7.4% increase.

During the Monthly Board meeting, the board was asked by an individual sitting in the audience if they had voted themselves a pay-raise for 2009. The answer was yes and no further questions were asked. Trustee Tim Powell got on his soapbox, and in a condescending manner, began to pontificate on how responsible the board was in executing their fiduciary responsibilities. Well if you weren’t a well informed constituent, you might buy Powell’s line of bull and think that our tax-dollars are thoughtfully and frugally spent by Avon Township.

Here are some Avon Township tidbits you might want to chew on:

Pay-raises for 2009
  • The Assessor is getting a whopping 15% pay increase
  • The Trustee and Clerks are getting a 3% pay raise
  • The Supervisor is getting a 4% pay raise

Under the Freedom of Information Act, anyone can ask for a copy of the expenditures our elected officials execute in their day to day duties. I was quite surprised given that Trustee Powell made it a point to say that Avon Township is a responsible steward of the tax-payers to find some unusual expenditure for 2008. How about $161.25 for a hammer on 7/16/2008 or $429.79 for a ladder on 6/9/2008? Every month, multiple cell phone bills in excess of hundreds of dollar are spent by the township. Why isn’t there a single plan? Looking at the amounts spent on cell phones, are we being charged for non-official calls? Is there a $600 toilet seat hiding somewhere in the expenditures?

I challenge Trustee Powell to debate his comment about being good stewards of the Avon Township Tax-Payers. I think not!

3 comments:

marcfeld said...

Thanks for informing the citizens of Avon Township of what is taking place and how our tax dollars are being spent.

Anonymous said...

What are they spending the money on? Do you guys have any information on their salaries and who their vendors are?
8.9% is probably the highest in Lake County, I think an explanation is in order.

Bonnie Barrington said...

Interestingly enough I have requested this information from Ela Township who claims the same thing. They spent over $50 in one day at Starbucks! There were numerous cell phone bills with calls at after 10pm. What township business happens at that time? It is very sad that during these economic hard times township officials spend our money like it is water. I am sure the people being forced out of their homes would love to see how much was paid for cupcakes and soda for the last township board meeting. BTW Ela also has a history of having meetings early except they have theirs during the lunch hour and at locations that are not accessible by the handicapped. Again more for the inconvience of all not the convience of some! FOI my FOIA requests have totaled over $180 even after the attorney general told them their fees are illegal they refuse to pay back the overages. What can we do about this?