Letter: These two are looking out for Kinni taxpayersThanks to Candace Bettendorf’s relentless efforts, Kinnickinnic now receives properly itemized bills from its attorney.
By: Elaine Ray, town of Kinnickinnic, River Falls Journal
Thanks to Candace Bettendorf’s relentless efforts, Kinnickinnic now receives properly itemized bills from its attorney.
We hope the Town Board will ask its engineer SEH to apply that same professionalism to the thousands of dollars it charges the town each month.
That firm must be laughing all the way to its bank.
When the town contracted with SEH to develop our comprehensive plan for a flat fee, it looked like a money loser for the firm because the project dragged on for five years.
But getting its feet in the door at our Town Hall has paid off big, with our fiscally indifferent Board using SEH for everything from preparing minutes to running errands at the County offices — tasks one would think our officials would be doing themselves.
In recent bills Simons charged the Town $579 and $669 for attending two meetings, and billed nearly $400 more for preparing the minutes.
At $200 a page, wouldn’t our clerk or a committee member be a better choice?
And the bills contain no dates indicating when the meetings were held, how long they lasted, or what hourly rate SEH is charging.
That seems unprofessional, but you can’t really blame Simons. His job is to bring in money for his firm, and our board’s hands-off attitude makes our town an easy billing target.
But there is some good news and we likely have citizen Gordon Awsumb to thank for it.
His run for chairman last year shined light on ethical problems regarding our town’s road bids. It appears his presence now on the Town’s Road Committee is helping to cut the waste of taxpayer money.
With Awsumb serving on that committee, SEH’s bills have dropped from $58,000 in 2010 to $30,000 in 2011.
Thank you, Mr. Awsumb and Mrs. Bettendorf.