Friday, June 15, 2012
Grafton Twp. Passes Budget, Argues Over Credit Card
The extra spectators appeared in the wake last week of Internet postings of Moore charges to the Township credit card that some thought were profligate. In a press release (not sent to FEN) Moore justified most of them as ordinary business expenses. However, Thursday during the public comments period Pam Fender, former Township Administrator whom Moore fired, read off a list of the Supervisors charges at restaurants and a couple of sight-seeing tours in Washington DC she hadn't explained. Moore said the meals were while she was on Township business and later told FEN the tours were an official part of a national convention for township officials.
Moore and the Board had wrangled earlier in the session over the credit card which they directed her to cancel two months ago but which she has continued to use to the tune of about $2,400 last month. "The credit card has been in place since 2005," said Moore who noted the Township Board had authorized getting it in the first place. Constantly interrupting each other, trustees replied that was true but now they were unauthorizing it.
Thursday's meeting started with a perfunctory public hearing to approve a $1.6 million Township budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year. Among other minutiae, it scaled back Grafton Township Senior Bingo from twice a month to once. Moore supporter Loretta Wuich in her public comments later begged, "Please don't cut our Senior Bingo." Board budgeteer Betty Zirk had originally chopped the item in half to help pay the Township's monumental legal bills but Thursday she said another reason was because Moore was spending so much time on Bingo that she wasn't getting meeting packets ready for trustees in time. Trustee Rob LaPorta accused Moore of failing to prioritize her time. "Senior Bingo doesn't interfere with the Supervisor's duties," said Moore.
Moore charged trustees were actually "micromanaging" her in violation of Circuit Judge Michael Caldwell's order that she was responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Township. That set off another rant by trustee Jerry McMahon. He called for Caldwell's removal from the bench bringing a visible cringe from the rest of the trustees before they could finally make him be quiet again.
Flagging after two hours of battle, trustees only raised comparatively mild objections to Moore's surprise request they renew the Township's health insurance plan before it runs out.
"This letter is dated May 14 and we're just getting it now?" complained trustee Rob LaPorta.
"It was given to the Assessor and the Road Commissioner," replied Moore.
"But it wasn't given to the Board," cried Trustee Barb Murphy.
In the pic: Former Township Administrator Pam Fender read a list Thursday of what she said were dubious credit card charges made by Grafton Township Supervisor Linda Moore.