The reason for this letter is to rebut the recent article written by Daria Jurek, “Finance awkwardly haphazard in Lewiston.”
In this article the reporter not only fails to do the needed research but fails to ask the needed questions. The question not reported is who is really responsible for putting Lewiston in an “awkwardly haphazard” condition? The reporter seems to think that Lewiston Supervisor Dennis Brochey is responsible, yet both the Moody’s Report and recent State Comptroller audit directs the responsibility and “wasteful” spending prior to Mr. Brochey’s election.
The reporter fails to comprehend that Mr. Brochey inherited all the information she cites in her article. Mr. Brochey, who is in the minority, inherited a multi-million dollar deficit of, as the State Comptroller reports, “wasteful’ spending. In fact, years before Mr. Brochey’s election citizens, Lewiston’s internal auditor and then Finance Director Mike Johnson warned the town board about declining revenues and runaway spending. Did they do anything about it? No, they didn’t, they continued to spend on every pie in the sky project that crossed their desk. It wasn’t until Lewiston residents said enough and elected Brochey that the spending stopped at Joseph Davis but not before it was discovered that gas was stolen, building containing asbestos was torn down illegally, $190,000 was paid for a faulty parking lot and millions of dollars was spent on land the Lewiston taxpayer didn’t own.
Ms. Jurek seems to believe that past and present members of the Lewiston Town Board aren’t responsible for Lewiston recent credit down grade. Somehow, according to Jurek, it’s the “political spin machine” causing all the problems. That “the unbiased truth” is written in the Moody’s Report. Oh really, Daria, the unbiased truth is, from the Moody’s Report, one of the “primary drivers for the reserve decline was unfavorable revenue variances associated with Greenway Funding,” and that funding was spent, again in the Moody’s Report, at “Joseph Davis State Park.” That “according to a recent audit by the State Comptroller town officials spent approximately $1.1 million on park projects from 2011 to 2014 prior to receiving approval from the state parks department.” You will note the years cited in Moody’s and Comptroller’s report where years Brochey wasn’t a member of the Lewiston Town Board.
But Ms. Jurek, if you are so interested in Lewiston’s finances why aren’t you investigating and writing about the following: why Lewiston taxpayers are paying tens of thousands of dollars to attorneys who don’t live in Lewiston and when appointed had no municipal experience; why are Lewiston taxpayers paying tens of thousands of dollars to the law firm of one of these attorneys; why after paying tens of thousands of dollars to this law firm is the litigation budget overspent; why did these attorney’s workout a sweet heart deal so a developer got a $5200 reduction in mandated development fees; why did this developer make two campaign contributions to certain republican elected officials running for office; why did a highway superintendent award a no bid $25,000 public works project without getting approval; why is the highway seasonal budget overspent; why is the highway department removing trees and brush from friends property at taxpayer expense; why is a trucking company being given a free ride to operate without a permit while owing the town tens of thousands of dollars; why, as your newspaper exposed, was no one arrested and prosecuted for the theft of $12,000 of gas and why, as your newspaper exposed, was no one held accountable for a faulty $190,000 paving job at Joseph Davis. You seem to believe Mr. Brochey is responsible for Lewiston’s fiscal problems but you fail to investigate that Lewiston’s fiscal problems was caused by a republican majority 4 years before Mr. Brochey was elected. These, Ms. Jurek, are just some of the questions you should be asking, investigating and writing about, and these are just some of the reasons why Lewiston’s finances are “awkwardly haphazard.”