Source: Sherman Publications

Opinions
Goodrich residents lack confidence in council leadership

April 13, 2011

Dear Editor,

The citizens of Goodrich have been fed a continuous stream of misguided information regarding the state of village finances. Council President Patricia Wartella, along with council members Doug McAbee and Phil Jackson, have not represented the facts. The truth is, Goodrich has never run the budget in a deficit mode—they are not running in the red. These numbers can be checked with the State of Michigan treasury website Goodrich general fund balances include: 2004-$268,773; 2005-$286,746; 2006-$332,621; 2007-$233,204; 2008-$177,529; 2009-$227,896 and 2010-$278,894. (in 2007 and 2008 funds were used for special projects such as Hegel Road bridge, West Hegel reconstruction and bike/walking path).

Another fine example of exactly how the new leadership on the village council is completely out of touch regarding the “real facts” are the numbers presented at the Goodrich Country Club meeting hosted by Jackson and McAbee following the 2010 village election.

A statement of cash flow, the proprietary fund from June 30, 2004-June 30, 2010, was presented. Beginning balance: $954,009-ending balance $354, 908. It was stated at the meeting that the proprietary fund balance had decreased by $599,101 in seven years.

The blatant ignorance as to these facts is simply astounding—the proprietary fund is in fact....the sewer fund. Not the village general fund.

And the sewer fund decreased because from 2003-2006, the 15 year sewer bond was being paid off. More than $612,000 was used from the sewer fund to pay for the system in full (payoff schedule found in Village of Goodrich notes to financial statements 2002).

Wartella has continued to maintain that she is not out to dissolve the Village of Goodrich. Recent changes, including removal of the village administrator and sharing services with Atlas Township for sewer statements, tax collection and building inspections would suggest otherwise. Wartella is intent on dissolving the functions of the village from within.

Whether Wartella, Jackson or McAbee have misrepresented the facts by choice or own ignorance, the driving issue before village residents should be the lack of confidence in their ability to lead a fiscally responsible village forward.

Janet Burt, Goodrich