Shelby Co. (ECWd) –
We were tipped off this week about a Cease & Desist letter sent to the Shelbyville Township Supervisor and the Township attorney. I did confirm with the Township attorney that the letter was authentic and she informed us the issue of donations is dead as the board decided to stop the donations.
I asked the following question: “I understand the Supervisor said there would be no more donations but when did the board make this decision?”
The response from their attorney: “It has just not been requested to be on the agenda. I Suppose it could be in the future”
After receiving clarification as to when this decision was made, the attorney’s comments on the board decision was tied to the Supervisor, speaking for the board when he stated there will be no more donations. Thus there was not actually a board decision that took place behind closed doors but rather an announcement by the Supervisor that there would no further donations.
We also confirmed the Cease and Desist letter was provided to the attorney prior to the meeting this week, however, the letter was not mentioned or discussed during any portion of the meeting. The Supervisor did say that they have stopped the donations during my public comment portion of the meeting. As you will see in the video, we point out that provided statutory obligations are met, some donations are legal.
We also provided a four-page legal opinion to the Township Attorney which we obtained just after the Township’s last meeting. We sought the opinion so that we would have an opinion, regardless of what that opinion was, in writing. I think this written legal opinion and the Cease and Desist letter makes it clear, just as we pointed out in this article, certain statutory criteria must be met when giving away tax dollars.
We can only assume that since the board decided to no longer donate taxpayer money to whomever they want, these letters drove the message home that what they were doing was not consistent with the law.
Written Legal Opinoin on Donations
G. BarracloughPosted at 13:47h, 10 March
A golden opportunity has presented itself to the Shelbyville Township Board of Trustees by way of this most unfortunate series of errors, bad legal advice and resultant lawlessness (not to mention the $90,000). Exposed to sunlight by the Watchdogs. Because that is their job.
The Board should place on their agenda for the next meeting a proposed motion to consider hiring Mr. Atteberry, or Mr. Manker, as Township attorney. Both attorneys have demonstrated (see above writings) they know the law, can give good legal advice and are able to author a legal memorandum of
Unlike the legal advice the board has been getting, acting on and the resulting adversity to the Shelbyville Township taxpayers.
After all, is this about the board and their attorney or the good citizens and taxpayers of Shelbyville Township?
So here is the chance for the board of trustees to make a clean breast of things and establish their bona fides with the taxpayers.
Or, the board can continue on their present path and the voters can decide at the next election if they feel their $90,000 was well spent.
Unless there are other reason(s) to keep getting their legal advice from the present township attorney.
Madison BlackPosted at 15:07h, 10 March
I’ve read the legal opinions and in the case of one attorney I see the use of, “it remains unclear as to what level of cooperation, if any exists between Shelbyville Township and another government entity….so on and so forth.
In my neck of the woods you better not give away a dime of taxpayer money to a charitable organization or you will be taken to task – as you should be. If the Township has that much money under the mattress maybe they ought to return some funds to the taxpayers and let them donate their money to whom they want it to go and get the residual tax benefit. What happens when the Township donates to some entity that taxpayers dislike or fundamentally and philosophically opposed?
What we here in the Shelbyville Township is the death of common sense.
Dennis FineganPosted at 21:06h, 10 March
From the video it appears that the Board is now headed in the right direction. Great job, Watchdogs.