Protecting the Taxpayer’s Interest

Dave Wallace

Hon. David Wallace, Jr.

When I ran for office last year, I made several promises. I promised to improve and maintain safety fiscal accountability and protect taxpayer’s interest. I am proud to report that fiscal accountability is being restored. The 2010-2013 audits are on track to be released mid-June. Many fixes have been put into place to right the ship to include implementing the UAN (Uniform Accounting Network) and monthly bank reconciliations are finally being conducted each month. We have also appointed a new fiscal officer, Ray Warrick, who is reviewing and modernizing the way the fiscal office conducts day to day operations.

The second area to improve is protecting tax payer’s interest. This was area was brought to light in late February when the TWP received a bill from Union Township for the amount of $4,800 for “fire protection and medical services”. The bill was for the years 2011-2014. Upon discussion with several people, no one could really recollect the bill or why it went so long without being paid or why we even contract with Union Township. Since then, I have requested a copy of all contracts, agreements and leases and expect it in the upcoming weeks. Once received, I will review each one to insure that it is financially responsible and that the townships resident’s interests are first. I will also make sure there is no conflict of interests or perceived conflict of interest.

Since my request, I have learned that the TWP leases two houses located on the Marr Property at 912 Nunner Rd to township employees at below market value to include paying for all utilities. One of the houses was donated along with Marrs Property and the caretakers house was purchased by the township along with 16.82 acres in 2011 for $320,000. The first house rent is $450 a month with up to $250 credit each month for maintenance work for total monthly rent $200. The second house is also $450 a month rent with $50 credit each month for maintenance for total monthly rent of $400. The Township contracts cleaning the administrative building, community center and parks restrooms for $23,650. Mounts Parks is partially leased for $1 a year for 20 years. At the conclusion of 20 years, the baseball fields go back to the Township along with all the improvements. Once all the contracts become available, I will be sure to post them on my website.

If you have any questions on a specific contract, be sure to let me know and I will see that you get a copy. Again, feel free to call or e-mail me if you have any questions or concerns.

Please click on the links below for more detail:

 

Audit Update

May 21st Township Trustee Meeting,  Audit Update: The Township must now pay an additional $11,275 for work required by the State Auditor’s office. The cost of conducting the audits has increased from $33,661 to $44,936. The reason for this increase was the (1) additional testing of payroll related withholdings as a result of client errors, omissions and adjustments lacking support. Also, for certain withholdings, confirmation with outside organizations was deemed necessary. (2) Additional review of revenue transactions classifications and related adjustments. (3) Cash reconciliation additional testing, including numerous checks voided by the Township that were shown as outstanding payments at the year end.

Please click on the item below for more details:

Hamilton Township Warren County LOA 13-10 amendment #1 (Signed by Chief)

Warren County Engineer's Office

I would like to thank Neil Tunison, Warren County Engineer, for meeting with me recently to discuss Hamilton Township’s Roads. During last year’s campaign and since I have been in office, many residents have expressed concerns about the roads in Hamilton Township.

While meeting with Mr. Tunison, I expressed those concerns and asked what corrective action plans are in place.  I was disappointed that there is not more being done, however I am cautiously optimistic that the planned improvements will improve safety and help with traffic flow. I also extended to him an open invitation to attend one of our township meetings to meet with the residents and discuss the townships future road plans.  I believe this would be very beneficial.

As of today, there are currently three road improvements planned. Two of the plans are with Ohio Department of Transportation and one is with the Warren County Engineers Office.

  1. Adding left turn lane west bound on US22 at Hopkins Rd (Start March 2015)
  2. Adding left turn lane east bound on US22 at Lakeshore Dr (Start May 2015)
  3. Adding left turn lane west bound on Fosters-Maineville Rd at Butterworth Road (Start April 2015

There are several upcoming studies that will be conducted by the Warren County Engineers Office. Once these are complete, I will be sure to have them available.

  1. SR 48 Corridor-Nunner/Stephens to Saddle Brook Drive
  2. Hoptown Access Management Plan Update
  3. King Ave. Bridge Rehab/New Grandin Connection Analysis

Again, please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Attached are sheets from the most recent plans on US 22 and Lakeshore and on US 22 at Hopkins.  These sheets should provide the general idea of the projects.  Please click on the links below for more detail:

US 22 at Hopkins

US 22 and Lakeshore

 

Ammo factory near bike path could become lofts

Today’s Cincinnati Enquirer had a good article about the plans to turn the Peters Cartridge factory into apartments.  There are also some really cool old photographs of the facility included with the article.  I had no idea Columbia Records once occupied the building and made records!  Very interesting.

Please click the link below to read the story.

Ammo factory near bike path could become lofts

Peters logo

Senate Bill 6 – the “Fiscal Officer Integrity Act”

OhSenSenate Bill 6 is the type of legislation that is long over due.  I would like to thank the Senator Schaffer and his colleagues in Columbus for working across party lines to pass this must needed legislation. Unfortunately, it can’t undo our situation, but hopefully it can prevent others.

As of this writing, the bill had passed the Senate and was pending in the Ohio House. I would encourage our local Representatives to take a hard look at this important piece of legislation.

Here is the press release from the Ohio Senate:

Schaffer Anti-Corruption Bill Clears Ohio Senate On Bi-Partisan Vote

Substitute Senate Bill 6, the latest anti-corruption legislation carried by Senator Tim Schaffer (R–Lancaster), was unanimously passed by the Ohio Senate today.

Also known as the “Fiscal Officer Integrity Act,” the legislation sets up a civil process to remove reckless government fiscal officers and requires continuing education for other fiscal officers.

“Our communities across the state owe a great deal of gratitude to our local government fiscal officers who keep our local governments running,” Schaffer said. “But since they are so important to our communities, citizens need to be able to take proper action when reckless behavior occurs, while still preserving due process rights.”

Auditor Dave Yost worked closely with Senator Schaffer on drafting the legislation.

“Today the Senate has put Ohio’s local governments one step closer to greater financial accountability,” Auditor Yost said. “I look forward to working with the House of Representatives to take the next step.”

The bill is in response to cases of fiscal officers stealing or mishandling taxpayer dollars, most notably a case in Stark County where the deputy county treasurer was convicted of stealing $2.8 million in public funds. The elected county treasurer was held responsible for the misconduct in his office and was removed. The removal was later ruled unconstitutional due to a lack of due process given to the treasurer. Sub. Senate Bill 6 will provide multiple steps of due process while also providing a tool for removing corrupt or reckless officials.

The bill will also establish training programs for township fiscal officers, who currently are not required to have any experience or practical knowledge of accounting or ethics standards.

“The portion of the bill concerning training will help our local fiscal officers better serve their constituents,” Schaffer said. “It will provide continuing education and assist in professional development.”

The bill passed by a vote of 32-0 and will now move to the Ohio House of Representatives for further consideration.