This letter to the editor is a follow-up comment to a letter that appeared in the February 7th issue of the Herald titled- “ Taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for cake”, authored by Mr. John Stevens. This issue pertains to birthday cake bought for the Vernon mayor and several councilmen which was served at the January 28th council meeting. The business administrator claimed to have bought the cake and was quoted as saying he would submit an invoice for re-imbursement.
Mr. Stevens objected to the re-imbursement and stated he would like to see the invoice be rejected by the council when it officially appeared. Most of us have no problem with birthday celebrations and cake. However, the chance for the council to have the invoice “officially appear” before the them was removed by the mayor in a memo dated November 13, 2012, whereby he told the council there would no longer be a resolution for a bill’s list on the council’s agenda. He told the council they could review the paid bills in the clerk’s office. Unfortunately, the council, all but councilman Kadish who objected, agreed with the mayor. Not only did they abdicate their responsibility to the taxpayer’s of Vernon as it is their duty to approve expenditures, but they are in violation of State Statute 40:69A-130 Disbursement of Municipal Funds, which states, in short, all disbursements shall be by bank check signed by the mayor, approved by council.
So Mr. Stevens, I wholeheartedly agree with you that the council should not only have a chance to decide on such an invoice, but according to law must vote on all disbursements. Cake is not the problem in Vernon. Following the State Statutes is, as was evidenced by the recent decision handed down by the Civil Service Commission, finding the mayor and business administrator violated civil service laws.
Former Vernon Mayor