The following is a letter written by Carolyn Tinney, who is a lawyer, but who has also served as Springwater Town Clerk for the last three and a half years. Ms. Tinney resigned her town clerk position on June 3, 2019, and explains her reasons why in the following letter:
Dear Springwater Residents,
I am going to try to keep this brief, and rather than focus on the ongoing personal attacks against me by this supervisor and her secretary and the ongoing assault on the Office of the Town Clerk, I will spend the few moments on a broader concern. I resigned my elected position as Town Clerk on June 4, 2019.
We have a Town Supervisor who has been absent a significant amount of time for at least the last two years from doing Town and County business to which she was elected. As a result, the Sewer Capital Improvement Project is going no place. Her determination to keep me from serving the public and processing the easements, trying to prevent me from helping people interested in applying for the CDBG Housing grants, her appointment of a supervisor’s clerk who moved out of town and was re-titled “Confidential Secretary/bookkeeper” to continue in her capacity to cover up for this Supervisor and for all intents and purposes is the “acting supervisor” (signing town checks, enjoying broad authority regarding a $4M sewer project, i.e. working with the attorneys and the engineers in developing a Bid package for the contractor, and appointed the authority to be the conduit with the financial administrator, to name a few). The supervisor attends almost no Board of Supervisor meetings and no County Committee meetings. However, she continues to collect her paycheck while the town just approved an additional $3,000 to pay the supervisor’s secretary to do the Supervisor’s job and to do work that the Town Clerk could easily take care of in the normal course of business, at no additional cost to taxpayers.
The Supervisor’s husband is the town’s code enforcement officer (CEO). He is also unable to do his job, so now we have a deputy code enforcer who covers for him. This is a scam. This CEO has lied to the town board in a public meeting about inspections he did not do. The mess on Wheaton Hill has been brought to his attention for years with no movement and the inability or unwillingness to do final inspections for homeowners in this town is just a couple examples of the ineptness, and lack of responsibility in doing the duties of his job.
At the same time, I am personally attacked in my own office by this Supervisor to the point that the board put in a deadbolt on my door so I can feel safe in my office when The Supervisor is present in the building. She illegally took over my office while I was visiting my family for no reason except to prove dominance.
The waste, fraud and abuse of this Supervisor, the unwillingness of this Board to do anything about it, question her actions or even recognize there is a problem, is mind-boggling. The Supervisor’s secretary once told me: “If you don’t want to play ball, you should get out of the game.” I feel physically ill with just the prospect of coming to work. There is a sick culture here that has been prevalent for a long time. It is now openly in our faces for anyone who wants to see it.
Regarding the upcoming elections. The Town has four very important openings coming up. Good people in this town see what this Supervisor is capable of in discrediting, disrespecting and mischaracterization in the most brutal way with lies, lies and more lies of prior Supervisor Buckley, Councilmember Hopkins, and Town Clerk Tinney. The Supervisor got rid of the Parks and Trails Committee and brutally slashed a beautiful first Comprehensive Plan developed over five years of hard work by volunteers and a $50,000 NYS grant to pay a consultant.
Councilmember Hopkins has had to pay personally in order to get financial records and FOIL for monthly budget reports so he can do his job as a councilperson, to oversee the use of public money. He has been isolated from contact with the Town Attorney and the Town bookkeeper.
Who wants their name raked through the mud? There is no common decency, honesty and transparency in the present Springwater administration. When Supervisor Buckley took over the Supervisor post, the town was close to bankruptcy because of the previous supervisor’s actions with a mismanaged $5.5 million sewer project which was left for Supervisor Buckley to clean up. A new sewer project was announced which was to break ground early this spring, and be mostly finished by this fall; however, because of lack of effort and responsible leadership, our one-year $4 million project is way behind, and may well be left to the next person to clean up.
Finally: The Henrys have a retirement home in Florida and plan to leave town as soon as the Supervisor retires from her state job. They have no long-term interest in this town and will not be here to mop up. Our Supervisor did not even pay her property taxes this year before they went into delinquency. What if everyone in this town decided not to pay their taxes on time? Where would we be?
I have worked in offices all my life, in a government facility, corporate, university, and court settings, for a nonprofit and attorney offices. I have never seen such corruption close up or had to work in such a hostile and toxic environment. I apologize to the people who supported me in the last election, but I will not be part of such a corrupt administration, continue to be victim to such discrimination and abuse and will no longer serve as a cover-up. People in this town need to wake up to what is happening in their own front yard, if they want to see improvement.
In a Town like this, it should not matter whether you are Republican, Democrat or Independent, but people should be voting for the skills, the honesty and integrity of the person if they want clean, transparent government.
Carolyn L. Tinney
Resigned Town Clerk