A week ago this newspaper printed a Letter to the Editor from the former Baldwin Town Board chairman Mr. Hall. In that letter Mr. Hall had good things to say about me as a candidate for the Baldwin Town Board election this coming Tuesday. As per newspaper guidelines any candidate is given the opportunity to respond to any negative comments. One of the current town board supervisors had a very lengthy response printed this week. However, I believe this newspaper was deficient in allowing the writer to make negative statements about myself when I have no opportunity for a printed rebuttal. Errors happen under deadlines and the editor has allowed me this opportunity to provide this response. Thank you Mr. Hage.
“Don’t denigrate the township by filling the community with whitewashed half-truths and dishonest statements when the whole truth is what they (Baldwin residents) deserve.” Anyone who knows me understands that I cannot allow an untruth or a half-truth to go unanswered. My purpose of maintaining the blog at www.SharingYourIdeas.org is to make available facts about Baldwin government meetings in a timely fashion. Every meeting in the town hall is posted on the blog within 24 hours. I will address only the three statements made about me as Mr. Hall can speak for himself in due time.
“He added four to five months to the equipment procuring process” for the new fire truck that was unusable for an entire year after delivery. I was on the committee to assemble a wish list of desired equipment. I personally researched many of the items, spoke with suppliers and continually revised the want list that began at $137,000. This original list is available by sending email to Chuck@SharingYourIdeas,org. After several meetings between the fire department officers and the town board on June 22, September 29, November 4, November 29, and finally approved on December 13 the list was trimmed to $47,000. The equipment was paid from the General Fund and not the Fire Fund. This is what really kept the new fire truck from becoming operational for a full year after delivery. The writer also stated that the fire truck purchase was approved well before any of the current supervisors were on the board. The real truth is that the writer voted to purchase by roll call vote at the June 1, 2009 regular town board meeting three months after taking office.
“he even has a portable scanner he uses to scan the agenda packets prior to every board meeting.” While it is true that a month ago the meeting packets are now partially available on the township website, then why do I need to scan the packets? The real truth is because the monthly financial reports are not put on the website. The town board members receive the financial reports electronically but as of the meeting start they are not on the website. I use information from all of the various reports to produce my single page financial summary on www.SharingYourIdeas.org each month. The meeting packet and agenda is typically uploaded to the website very close to or after 2:30 pm on the Thursday prior to a town board meeting. Since the town hall office hours are only 8:30 am to 2:30 pm and not on Fridays, residents have no opportunity for clarifications until Monday. This precludes any contacting of elected representatives over the weekend. As for saving the cost of copies, how many thousands of FREE copies are included in the copier maintenance contract?
“wants to run a sewer line under 169”. This is an exactly correct statement. This is what was reported in this newspaper on last September 22. The sewer plant issue when first introduced was an addition to the published town board agenda and taxpayers paid the town engineer to wait from the meeting start at 7:00 pm until 11:30 pm for the agenda item to be reached. The official meeting minutes of this discussion are available with an email to Chuck@SharingYourIdeas.org. The writer went on to state that grant money can be used for sewer plant engineering and construction cost. What is not mentioned, nor I believe even known, is what percent. It has been stated that the fees from users should be able to make the loan payments. The real question is who will pay the loan should the mobile home park close?
In summary, I intend to continue to do my best to keep Baldwin residents informed with timely accurate facts. You will find no campaign information on www.SharingYourIdeas.org. I will not claim that the information is one hundred percent unbiased but I and those who assist me try hard.