Every two weeks, for two and a half years, I have voted “no” against approving Town of Ossining voucher detail reports. There were many reasons for this vote.
Voucher Detail reports are reports generated to pay the Town's bi-weekly bills. They contain expenditures from office supplies to employee benefits. A close examination of these reports by any interested person would raise many questions. I was also successful in having these reports posted on the Town's website before they are voted on so the public can examine them and come to a meeting and question them.
My “no” vote has been a critique of the lack of financial accountability in the Town of Ossining. I do not lend my support to frivolous and unnecessary expenditures in the Town budget. Some of these expenses included a part-time consultant that made over a million dollars in just five years, a take-home car for a non-emergency employee, bottled water for Town departments, the County’s unlimited use of the now unnecessary police building, and the sale of said building. But after two and a half years of voting “no,” the Town finally came around to the side of reason. Our voucher detail reports no longer contain these items.
I was never malicious in my intent by voting no. I did it as a statement, to show that we can do more with less. And while it took over two years, I never once tried to hinder or stop Ossining Town government. For example, some weeks ago I and only two other members of the board were present for a meeting. Three board members constitute a quorum, but in order for something to pass, all three votes are needed. When the vouchers came up for approval I stated that I would reluctantly approve them, in order to allow the Town government to continue to function.
There are still frivolous expenditures on these reports, but I am confident the new Town Board and new supervisor will work with me to resolve and remove those that remain. But the Board has made much progress and, in the spirit of goodwill and cooperation, I will vote “yes” to approve these voucher detail reports in the future.