February 22, 2013 by wcobserver
Dear Editor of the Observer,
I have thought long and hard about writing this letter, but I think I have something to say to other West Fork citizens, out there, who just might listen.
I moved to West Fork about four years ago, but I have deep ties here through family members who have lived in this area for a very long time. In those four years, especially in the last five months, I have learned things about our city government that concern me.
One of these concerns is the lack of professional procedures inside the workings of City Hall, in particular, the policy or the lack of a policy of having an elected official sign checks leaving our City Hall. Working for other public entities, I thought this was a standard operating procedure. Not in West Fork. Two City Hall employees sign every one of our checks, and neither one is an elected official who is accountable to the citizens of West Fork.
Granted, West Fork is a small town, and most people think things are done differently in small towns. On the contrary, I called four of our closest, neighboring small towns and all require, at least, one elected city official’s signature on every check.
Greenland and Winslow have two co-signers on every check, both elected officials. Elkins and Farmington are a little different. Both of these towns require only one elected official to sign their checks, alongside the signature of one city employee.
Three of these cities, Greenland, Winslow, and Elkins have been doing it this way for a very long time. Two of these towns, Greenland and Elkins, even told me that they changed to this type of policy at the request of the auditor.
Now, I am not suggesting or implying any shady business is going on down at City Hall, nor do I have any vendetta against any of our city employees who have always been friendly and helpful to me. But standard operating procedures are important to me, and obviously to the other small towns around us, at least, important enough to adopt this policy many years ago and to have their auditors suggest it.
In a city that has been going through a lot of political strife lately and is suffering from a distinct lack of trust and faith in its city government by its citizens, wouldn’t this be a good first step in restoring confidence? In my opinion it is, and I hope you feel the same way.
Thank you for listening,