Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Council still snoozing as Meginity asks for a Bicentennial Commission audit.

And that's why NABC is sitting this one out and skipping ahead to next century: I'll see your bicentennial, and raise you a Tricentennial. Whatcha got?

Reporter Daniel Suddeath set the stage earlier on Monday, predicting an appearance before the city council last night by Vic Meginity -- retired teacher, historic preservationist, and as we learned, former treasurer of the city of New Albany's Bicentennial Commission.

How this came about proved a top-quality reminder that civic dysfunction is alive and well 200 years after the ill-fated Scribner canoes ran aground.

By the way, boys and girls, are you also wondering how many Crutchfield Coffee Table Door Stops have been sold so far? We'll get back to that.

Meginity proceeded to meticulously question the bicentennial committee's handling of monetary accounts, charging that commission and private monies were commingled and liberties taken with accounting, all on his watch but without his input.

He told of how he approached commission members seeking an explanation, then went to co-commission chairs Shelle England and Bob Caesar, then various city officials, and finally to the mayor. Nothing happened, and then Meginity was told by Caesar he'd be fired along with an assistant, so he quit first.

When Daniel's newspaper report is published, I'll link to it here. It should suffice to say that Meginity believes there should be an audit of the bicentennial commission's accounts, and moreover, there should be accessible information as to just what the commission has been doing with roughly a quarter of a million dollars since it was formed, turned loose ... and never, ever monitored by the city council or anyone else.

Meginity said that he became aware of potential problems only last October, and coincidentally or not, October 1, 2012, was the most recent occasion for the  council to utterly refuse even a cursory probe into the commission's dealings and expenditures. It was the occasion for final approval of Bicentennial "Rent Boy" Park, and council member Caesar was buttressed by co-chair England in deflecting all questions.

England's position was clear: This is the big kids' table, and thou shan't ask.

The council's reply last October was equally clear: So very sorry for so much as insinuating a questioning stance; carry on; like we'd ever want to know anything of you, heaven forbid!

Unfortunately, if Meginity believes a council that has tended to regard bicentennial oversight as a disease akin to poison ivy or genital warts now will be swayed by the mere eloquence of a whistle blower to perform long overdue audits, he's likely to receive yet another clear reply.

HA HA HA HA HA ... especially after Coffey, of all people, leaped to Caesar's defense and assured all and sundry that for the first time in recorded human history, every last bit of the bicentennial "information" has thus far been passed from jeweler Centurion to the council and the copperhead himself.

In the end, the main reason why this episode so saddens me is that Meginity himself artfully alludes to the probable crux of the issue in his report to council, of which I've obtained a copy.

He notes that New Albany is his "adopted hometown for the past 50 years."

Yes, "adopted."

Small wonder the cool kids dumped him.

Dude isn't even from here.

1 comment:

Iamhoosier said...

I don't personally know most of the principals involved in this "dispute". I do know that there has been no public accounting of funds and darn little other information about the committee's operation.

While I don't suspect any "pocket lining" to have gone on, it does appear that proper accounting and management techniques have not been used. We deserve some answers.