In our article dated February 22nd, we discussed the mishandling of city money by the former parks superintendent and then acting parks board president. The one item pending from that article was a formal review by the State Board of Accounts and legal counsel for the city.
Tonight, we got the results of the review.
According to a report written by the current Superintendent Harvey Wright, the SBA and legal counsel suggested that the money spent by Matt Bailey and Mary Beth Lambert for a variety of expenses during 2011 should not have been charged to the Burt Whitely fund.
The monies paid back to the fund amounted to $3,248.28, or not a significant amount of dollars in the grand scheme of things.
However, as local resident Wayne Scaiffe pointed out to all members of the board, “While you were telling me that you could not use the Burt Whitely monies to paint the basketball courts in preparation for an upcoming event in the park, you were taking monies out of the fund for barricades, deck chairs, and umbrellas for Tuhey Pool grand opening, and for veterinarian bills for the office cat.”
It’s a matter of principle coupled with inappropriate use of city money guided by a half century old trust fund.
Mr. Bailey, appointed by former Mayor Sharon McShurley, had been replaced during the change in administrations, but how about a public apology from Ms. Lambert for telling a citizen no, while she was dipping into the account to buy supplies for Tuhey pool grand opening?
Both Mr. Scaiffe, and local activist, Aamir Shabazz, said they considered the topic closed as a public concern, but are pursuing actions privately to hold the public servants accountable, and they both demanded resignations of those having knowledge of the expenditures.
Did anybody resign?
Not yet, but maybe the Delaware County prosecutors office could offer these two gentlemen some help since there should be negative consequences for those public servants mishandling funds.
As for future expenditures from the Burt Whitely trust fund, it will require approval by the Park Superintendent, Park Board President, and the Mayor of Muncie.