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October 18 02:32 PM
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Officials stand by oath to uphold ordinances


To the Editor:

There is a lot of misinformation and rumors going around Riley Township regarding the reasons for the upcoming recall election. I would like to try to clear some of this up. Linda Waddy (Clerk), along with Nancy Dudek (Treasurer) and Linda Belesky (Trustee), are all on the recall ballot. The reason submitted by the petitioner is the same for all three of us; "for the irresponsible use of Riley Township funds in regards to attorney fees incurred, resulting in reduced services for the fiscal year 2009/2010." Now, how absurd is that?

Let me just say that there was no irresponsible use of funds. The attorney fees paid throughout the year covered normal issues, such as attorney reviews, letters to the auditor or residents, FOIA's, tax matters and then there was a court case. The court case, against the owners of Bisco's Truck Stop, was started to get them to comply with the township ordinances, to apply for approval of their new business and to obtain the proper building permits, etc. The residents came to our meetings asking the Board to make them comply. The entire board voted to proceed with this court case, after numerous attempts to get compliance failed.

I was voted into office several times, because of my ability to do my job as I was elected to do. I took an oath of office to uphold the township ordinances (laws) and do what is best for the township residents. The decisions we make are not always easy, but they are necessary. Evidently, the judge in this case agreed, because he also agreed with me and the other two members subject to this recall. He did not accept the final consent judgment until we changed it to reflect the use and location of the adult business. There were many issues involved here, such as an appeal of the court's restraining order, meetings with the attorneys involved, extra discoveries, and so on that was beyond our control. These costs, approved by all five board members, were necessary to operate the township.

Also, these attorney fees did not cause any reduced services in the township. The road projects were still completed, the fire contracts are intact, taxes are being collected, office hours have been maintained and the street lights are still on. No services have changed. Let me also explain that the township park and those related activities are paid for by the parks millage distribution through the county, voted for and approved by the residents. It is no secret that we are all in tough financial times right now and with the reduction of state revenue sharing and lower property values, the township revenues are down. To offset these losses, we have suspended benefits and training options along with keeping tight reins on all the budget line items. Again, no services have been cut to the residents.

I would have to write a book to explain all the details that took place regarding these court cases, but I am willing to discuss this with anyone if you have questions. Please don't get caught up in the political and power games that prompted this recall attempt. I ask that you help me and the other two board members honor the wishes of the voters at the last election and come out and vote 'no' on the recall attempts at the special election on Feb. 23.

In my opinion, this election is a real irresponsible use of township funds. It is costing you, the taxpayer, several thousands of dollars for unnecessary reasons.

—Linda Waddy

Clerk

Riley Township

Linda Waddy
February 17, 2010

Castle Creek
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