Letter to the editor: Proper financial documentation is important
I can understand Loren Kittelson's frustration with city government (referring to his letter to the editor published in The Jamestown Sun on Dec. 4).
In September, an official copy of a resolution passed by the City Council for a $75,000 Flex PACE interest buy down loan to Dean Hafner was on my desk for my approval signature several times. Each time I returned it to our city administrator, Jeff Fuchs, to have Jamestown/ Stutsman Development Corp. provide adequate financial documentation from Hafner for our city records. This information was not forthcoming.
Now I find that the approval signature on the resolution was changed to Councilman Patrick Nygaard, president of the council. He signed the resolution with no financial documentation attached. The city administrator and Nygaard chose to circumvent standard signature procedure because I was asking for and waiting for the required financial documentation.
When I found that Nygaard had signed the document, I e-mailed him and asked him who gave him the authority to sign this resolution. Part of his response to me was, "You are the only person who wants that additional documentation, so of course I did not review it before signing the resolution, because it was not required by the City Council."
He went on in his e-mail to say, "You must remember that as Mayor, you are to formalize action taken by the City Council by your signature, irrespective of your personal feelings toward such action. In your absence, or due to your unwillingness, I will perform such duties until the City Council selects another member to serve as President of the Council." As mayor, I cannot refuse, for any reason, to sign a resolution or a document requiring my signature. I was not absent. I was not unwilling. I did not block the resolution from being signed. Feelings do not enter into this.
The City Council members, the city administrator and JSDC are the ones who have chosen to try to make this a personal attack. I believe that it is my fiscal responsibility to the taxpayers that proper documentation be in place. The financial documentation that was at first with the resolution was that of a Kevin Thoele not Hafner. The resolution was not for Thoele, does not even mention his name, but for Hafner. Twenty years out when there is to be payback of the Flex PACE loan it is Hafner who is responsible to pay back the loan. Nygaard is a banker. He should understand the importance of financial documentation.
Mayor Clarice Liechty