Stechschulte Says Honesty Is Best
April 1, 2021
I’m writing to ask the question of what do you expect out of your officials in local government? Answering for myself, I expect Transparency and Honesty from those I entrust with my vote and tax dollar.
Transparency by definition is the quality of being easily seen through, operating in such a way that it is easy for others to see what actions are performed, implies openness, communication, and accountability. Honesty, by definition, is a facet of moral character with attributes such as straightforwardness of conduct, loyal, fair, sincere, telling the truth even when you haven’t been asked a question.
Over the past month and without the full knowledge of the Adams Town Board, a group of individuals, including current Adams Town Chair, acting Town Clerk, and a 2nd Supervisor candidate in the upcoming Spring election, have been going door to door circulating a petition for signature alleging the actions taken by the Board to combine and make appointed the position of Clerk/Treasurer, were in some way “illegal” or misleading and that other members of the board were somehow “lying” or cheating.
I can find no support to these allegations. The Motion to pursue this combination and appointment was made and voted on by the electors at the Annual town meeting in May 2020. It has been a subject of discussion on properly noticed town board meetings. It has been published in the newspaper. It has been the subject of a separate mailing to residents. And lastly, it was reviewed by county officials and the Elections Commission before being put onto ballots in November. At that time, more than 300 residents voted on the same, passing 164 to 162.
But now, when the term of those offices is about to expire and learning that the Township would be subject to a required Audit by an independent CPA as a result of this combination, a legal opinion addressed to Dan Holland and the Adams Township Board dated March 8, surfaces that in part says the process to combine the positions was not done correctly and addresses how the vacancies will need to be filled. Since its receipt, there has been NO noticed Town board meeting to discuss this opinion or what subsequent actions that the Board would need to take.
However, that same legal opinion appears to now be the basis of those individuals for a Special Meeting of Electors posted on March 17, scheduled for Saturday, April 3, at 9:00 a.m. A meeting scheduled 3 days before an election and at a time when residents will likely be spending time over spring break with family. A meeting that resources of the taxpayers of the Township are paying for by way of printing, publishing, wages of the recycling attendant to promote it, and then for the actual opinion itself. But more important, a meeting where a vote will be taken to Void the election results of the referendum presented November 3, 2020.
As a current member of the Adams Town Board, I can assure you I would not have taken this adversarial approach. It is my opinion, that once we (the full Board) were able to ascertain if or what the problem was with the process, we could have developed a plan on how to communicate to those same 300 plus residents.
I believe, Transparency is an essential thing in government, but it doesn’t trump honesty. I encourage you to do your own research, attend the meeting, ask questions, and vote to uphold the integrity of an election and those individuals that you have entrusted with your vote.