“This is the most dysfunctional, corrupt administration ever” said Tinney in a telephone interview. “It’s very stressful, and it’s ruining my health and that of my husband…I have to do this, just tired of all the turmoil and stress.” She resigned after the June 3 Town Board meeting, turning in her keys, cash box, and other clerk items, and filing a letter with the county government.
There have been several issues in past months between Supervisor Babbitt-Henry and Tinney, most recently a break-in into the clerk’s office while the town clerk was on vacation. Clerk Tinney had advertised her office would be closed, but after she left, the supervisor gained unauthorized access to the town clerk’s office and vault, and installed a clerk in the office, paid for out of the town clerk’s budget, without board or town clerk approval. (By New York State law as discussed in Thurston’s Town Clerk manual, p. 130, the town clerk is fully responsible for security of the records, and supervisors, board members, and other employees do not have free access to records and vaults). Most towns have a deputy town clerk, but a recent ad placed by the town clerk for a deputy yielded no “takers” so there is no deputy town clerk.
“It’s just been an ongoing thing,” said Tinney. “the supervisor has been keeping records from me that I should have and I am being FOILED for under the New York State Freedom of Information Act, so now I can’t even comply with that law. I’ve watched as grant deadlines for the sewer project money were not met as the Supervisor and her code enforcement officer husband took a two month vacation to Florida, putting the whole sewer project on hold which was to start early this spring. We are way behind on that, don’t even have half the easements yet, and yet I am not allowed to handle easement records either, which I am very willing to do. It’s just really frustrating the dysfunction, lack of transparency, apparent corruption, constant threats and rudeness, etc. The stress of dealing with this situation on a daily basis is affecting my health…I don’t want to be part of this administration because of all that’s going on; I really need to resign to protect myself and my well-being.”
A new town clerk will be appointed to fill out the town clerk’s term, probably at the board’s June 17 meeting, if not before. An ad was placed by Tinney two months ago advertising for a deputy, before the decision to resign was finalized. Prospective clerks and deputies must be residents of the town, may not be a member of the governmental board, and are appointed by the town board after evaluating the qualifications of all applicants.
NOTE: Mrs. Tinney wrote a letter to the Springwater residents. That will be found, in its entirety, in the next Genesee Sun article.