State should institute control board in Evans
So far in 2012, a woman received one day in jail for her barking dog. Former Buffalo Common Councilman Brian Davis received one year and one day in jail for stealing $48,000. On Sept. 14, the state comptroller released the audit report of the Town of Evans, and $2.1 million was "unaccounted for." The comptroller made eight recommendations to the town. For some unexplained reason, there were no recommendations regarding finding the missing money or prosecuting those responsible.
The result of mismanagement in Evans is that our town has more debt than 19 of the 24 other towns in Erie County combined! Evans residents tried fighting Town Hall. The "Freeholders" took the town to state court over improper spending. The case was dismissed. Numerous residents have gone to the attorney general and FBI. No one would help.
Now Evans is broke, has significant debt, faces layoffs, significant cuts in services and higher taxes. If no one goes to jail, once the spotlight goes out, nothing will change in Evans. The town is a multimillion-dollar entity operated by officials with little or no formal business background. The State Legislature should step in and authorize a control board with the power to fix problems. Going forward, one solution would be to require a detailed report of how every taxpayer penny will be spent. It should be made public at Town Board meetings. All financial reports sent to the state should be required to be posted on the town's website. The "need to know" culture in Town Hall must end. Those taxpayers paying the bills "need to know."