The saga continues friends, you are probably getting tired of reading this, so in the face of the impending election for Mayor of Forks, hopefully, this is the last you will hear from the Reeds, at least for a time. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t let the comments in last week’s Forum by Councilman Ayers go unanswered since I have some experience in the operation of our city.
Mr. Ayers states in his letter some so-called facts which aren’t really facts; just a snapshot of the financial “fitness” of the city at one point in time, stated to make what I feel is his case for a “fundamental transformation” of the city, staffing, operating parameters, etc.
Further, he states his “responsibility” as a member of the council is “conducting research of issues, knowing the facts and getting community feedback on those issues before the issues are voted on by the council.”
This statement is correct to a point but what is missing is the support and direction of the mayor, in a mayor-council type of government. Did Mayor Monohon and the council direct Ayers to contact the Clallam County Sheriff? Was this one of the types of action allocated to the councilman or did he take this step on his own? The key factor in this situation is the perception of those involved in the “discussion” — did Councilman Ayers usurp the authority of the full council and the mayor in his “research” regarding the potential of contracting with Clallam County?
The allegations stated in Ayers letter regarding the “over budget” figures which portray financial disaster for the city were responded to by the city treasurer at the council meeting when I asked Ms. Grafstrom “Is the city in financial peril?” She responded no, the minutes of the meeting should reflect that statement.
It is standard operating procedure for the State Auditor’s Office to make comments regarding the financial health of any of the entities for which they audit, and in some cases, they simply do not understand the operations of the city, state agency etc., but issue a blanket statement, and if you look at the overall audit for the city of Forks for the time period noted, you will find a statement of “no findings” which is a clean bill of health for the city.
For the record, the city of Forks finished the last fiscal year with a balance in the general fund of $149,897, and those experienced in city government will tell you that periodic transfers from the general fund to the operating funds of a particular department of a city are commonplace, in fact, what are reserves for if not to use when needed? Further, in the total of all funds in the city coffers, there was an increase of $435,000 from 2015 to 2016.
I would suggest that if as Ayers states, the “people of Forks need to know all the facts regarding city finances,” they contact the city Treasurer, I am sure she will be able to state the facts as they exist, not the thinly veiled threats of a tax increase by a candidate for mayor.
Sincerely, Nedra Reed
Mayor of Forks 2001-2009