One reader made mention that Aileen (class of '76) was repaying her old school chum Joanne (class of '74) back for helping out with the campaign.

A source with the Hyde Park Democratic Party provided information that Aileen held a secret meeting at her home approximately 3 weeks ago on a  Saturday to discuss bringing Joanne Lown back to Town Hall with other democratic party members.

The writers at the HV News Lies found the following in NYS Election Law:

§ 17–158.
Corrupt use of position or authority

Any person who:
 1. While holding public office, or being nominated or seeking a nomination therefor, corruptly uses or promises to use, directly, or indirectly, any official authority or influence possessed or anticipated, in the way of conferring upon any person, or in order to secure, or aid any person in securing, any office or public employment, or any nomination,confirmation, promotion or increase of salary, upon consideration that the vote or political influence or action of the person so to be benefited or of any other person, shall be given or used in behalf of any candidate, officer or party or upon any other corrupt condition or consideration;

Question: Why would an employer rehire an ex-employee who was found to be negligent of performing their duties and be responsible for creating a near financial catastrophe?

Answer: 1) If they were completely incompetant of running a successful business or 2) were hiring them because they were their  friend and felt bad for their lack of employment or 3) they were being blackmailed by that person for some really good dirt they had on them or 4) the employer was told that had to do so by the 'power behind the power' or 5) they're returning a favor or a favor.

Many of the above scenarios can be speculated to be the reason why Aileen & Co, may be bringing back the disgraced ex-town bookkeeper as a ful-time senior accounting clerk as per the January 9, 2012 agenda notes as one of the resolutions the town board will be voting on.

Considering the recent information brought to light, specifically the publication of the 2006 audit results and the 2009 results among many other considerable errors that were made by Joanne Lown, why would Aileen & Co. choose to re-employ her?

The town's financial health was one of the key issues of the Democrat's campaign platform. Ms. Rohr was escpecially vocal concerning the fund balance during several of last year's town board meetings. 

However,  Ms. Lown was responsible for numerous errors which included:

1) The failure to follow procurement policies identified in both audits.

2) Failure to perform monthly bank reconciliations for eleven years.

3) Responsible for creating a check in appoximately $750,000 that was issued to the incorrect payee. The money will not be able to be recovered as the company was fraudulent.

4) Failure to make payment for ambulance
services to those residents in the Quaker Road area. These services are shared services with the town of Pleasant Valley.

5) Placing blame for the above errors upon her deceased co-worker who was just a clerk.

Another point that should be noted on that creating a new position will cost the town MORE  money as not only the funds for a salary would be required, but there are also FRINGE benefits that are included, which could cost approximately another $25,000 a year. When Ms. Lown's position for bookkeeper was eliminated, she received   $55,000 for that year although she was only employed for six months of the year. The excess over her normal pay was due to fringe benefits that were paid out to her.

It should also be noted that the current comptroller's salary has been said to be cut, perhaps in a tactic to push her out in hopes that the new accounting clerk will move into her place.

Aileen & Co. promised 'transperancy' which implies openness, communication, and accountability. IF that's the case, then Aileen & Co. owe the voters and taxpayers of the community why they would wish to rehire an individual that created such chaos of the town's finances. The last town audit took ELEVEN months to complete, well over the usual timeframe of 6-8 weeks.

Despite the possible rhetoric from Aileen & Co. stating that Ms. Lown was a valuable asset to the town, one must bear in mind that talk is cheap and there is a paper trail of significant errors indicating otherwise.

After all, would you want this person responsible for your tax dollars?