At the May 23 Board of Trustees meeting, Supervisor Savoie and his "gang" of trustees proved that they are NOT interested in the best interests of the township taxpayers and should be replaced at the August 2, 2016 primary election. Out of the seven trustees, only Treasurer Dan Devine and Trustee David Buckley should be retained as they vote for the best interests of the taxpayers and transparency.
THE ISSUE/ Road Special Assessment Districts (S.A.D.) resolution for "closeout"....***
May 23 agenda # 7 was a "re-do" of agenda # 6 from the May 9 meeting. Minutes on Demand
At that 5/9/16 meeting only Supervisor Savoie voted NO.
He was not happy that his voting bloc: his "gang" : Roncelli, Barnett, Kepes all voted Yes....with the other "gang" member, Khederian absent AGAIN/both nights, as is often the case.
So, Savoie, not happy with the vote, apparently had the issue brought back to the agenda May 23 by trustee Neal Barnett so the "gang" could change their vote and remove some language that was added May 9 to the resolution. Specifically a section # 7 of the resolution. see below.
Treasurer Dan Devine, added language making it necessary for each S.A.D. to have the project financials reviewed by (currently, Wayne Domine) Township Engineering Director, (currently, Jason Theis) Township Finance Director and the township treasurer (currently, Dan Devine) and the refunds to taxpayers approved by the board of trustees at a public meeting.
The first resolution originally had just the employee positions that are currently held by Wayne Domine and Jason Theis reviewing the projects and making the decision of who gets what refund and then simply issuing the checks. No ELECTED Board of Trustee involvement. This resolution sets policy for payments of refunds to be done "administratively". FYI: Domine helped set the price and details of the road S.A.D. projects and Theis writes the checks. Neither were elected and are not trustees of our money.
So, Treasurer, Dan Devine asked for and got an amendment to the resolution on May 9, that would include the Treasurer in the review (an elected person). The treasurer bills the taxpayers the S.A.D. fees and collects the money. Devine included in his amendment to the resolution bringing the information to the board at a public meeting for approval of the refunds. FYI: The only person that voted no on May 9 was Supervisor Savoie. Was it because the Treasurer, Dan Devine, would have the opportunity to see the project financial facts and figures? Why was Savoie so against transparency? Having a trustee part of the process and the full board voting on the decision at a public meeting seemed very reasonable. Because it is.
But, during the May 23 meeting for the "RE-DO" Savoie and his gang focused on the word "invoices" in the ADOPTED language of 5/9/16. Quite frankly, I do want the trustees to see at least a final report of the project as to costs/ bills paid/ who owes what to the S.A.D., who paid in full and when, what the bond was, etc. and how the determination was made as to refunds and WHY people get refunds and how much.
VOTE WAS CHANGED... RESOLUTION REVERTED TO MAY 9 LANGUAGE
However, on May 23, the Supervisor and the "gang" voted to remove the amended language and revert back to the original resolution... and have just the 2 employee positions decide who gets refunds and how much each taxpayer will receive. Trustees apparently don't need to know/ nor the public. No transparency as to the financial accounting of each and every road S.A.D. project. Scary.
WATCH THE MEETINGS / AUDIO - VIDEO on your computer or on local cable TV
You can view the audio/video of both meetings. May 9 is agenda #6 and May 23 is agenda # 7.
May 23 has twists and turns and me commenting several times on the issue. Take time to also listen to public comment as the last agenda item. I had a few things to say. You don't have to watch the entire meeting, you can click and drag the "time" line after the video starts to advance to the agenda item you wish to view.
One of those township S.A.D. road projects is Echo Park Road. Here is my blog after that public meeting in 2014.
Here is another blog I wrote in 2013 about a "township" early road project... instead of doing road repaving with Oakland County.
Extra information can be found in my many blogs written over the years. There are many archived blogs listed in the right side column.
HONESTLY, THERE ARE LOTS OF ISSUES WITH THE WAY THE TOWNSHIP DID THESE ROAD PROJECTS AND A THIRD PARTY SHOULD REVIEW THE RECORDS.
I had called for a forensic audit of the projects back in 2014 and again at the May 23, 2016 meeting. It's OUR money... and we should know how it is spent. Employees should not be making the FINAL decisions.
Having 2 employees simply deciding who gets money refunded and one of them simply writing refund checks "administratively" without the Trustees approval at a board meeting and without presenting any documents or a report to the trustees before dispersing township tax dollars is simply not right.
Those refund checks will be randomly listed one meeting in Payroll and Vouchers without being identified as to reason or purpose... so when, the Trustees approve Payroll and vouchers they are "approving" the refunds. Savoie will make sure they all take fiduciary responsibility. Payroll and vouchers is another major issue ... Trustees approve with little knowledge of facts.
One of the taxpayers at Carillon Hills S.A.D. road project... was listed in payroll and vouchers months ago receiving a $600 check. No explanation why. But, I do know they complained about "over-paying" for their share of the road back then. IF.... $600 was for road refund, who authorized the $600 refund for the road SAD? I don't know. Suspicious... but without proof.
Savoie basically said at the May 9 meeting that REFUNDS will be coming for Carillon Hills S.A.D. subdivision in June 2016... as he spoke to a member of the audience that night. Really? Behind door promises? ... that is Savoie. Deals for ......? Fill in the blank. He needs to be replaced.
IF YOUR SUBDIVISION WAS PART OF A S.A.D.
It is critical for any person facing a special assessment levy to participate in public hearings and monitor the special assessment process from its earliest stages and know all the details.
Was your road project done "the township way"?
If so, everyone in these cases, were assigned a total dollar amount that was equal payments for all. Everyone was to pay the same amount. But now, some have or will be getting refunds for more than others? If deserving, why? Make the reason public knowledge. Let everyone in those S.A.D. road projects know the final costs and who got money refunded and how much and why. Know how much money was bonded for the project..an important figure to know.
***WHEN ARE S.A.D.'s to be CLOSED....LEGALLY?
And, by the way, even though this agenda item says "closeout".... there are many more years of payments to this S.A.D. by many of the homeowners. To me, the " S.A.D. " should not be "closed" until the end of the legal term set up. Many more years to go. Even though some have paid in full.. the "close-out" of some of the township's road S.A.D. 's are perhaps even a decade or so away. Can the confirmed assessment roll be altered and the figures changed?