To the Editor:
In the July 27, 2018 edition of the Ely Times Robert Switzer wrote a misleading and derogatory letter to the Editor about me that I would like to comment on. Mr Switzer stated that I seemed to think that he was hired as a City Treasurer which is false as I did not say that. I stated that during his interview as City Clerk he was asked several questions which included
1. Councilman Setterstrom asked and you know how difficult the yearly budgets are? Robert Switzer stated yes.
2. Mayor VanCamp asked could you prepare a budget for the City? Robert Switzer stated yes.
3. Mayor VanCamp stated do you know a lot of government accounting? Robert Switzer stated yes.
4. Councilman Setterstrom stated do you reconcile all the bank accounts? Robert Switzer stated I could, yes.
5. Mayor VanCamp asked so, you do understand a budget? Robert Switzer stated yes.
These were the main questions asked of all three interviewees for the position of City Clerk or City Clerk/Treasurer. I stated in the July 19th meeting if Robert answered yes to all these questions then why are we spending $49,200 for an outside accounting firm if he could do all of this or did he lie in his interview. I feel that if Robert was forced to do this work that the treasurer would normally do, then maybe he would look a little harder to find a treasurer.
Just to remind the Mayor and Council, during the July 24, 2014 City Council meeting when the then City Clerk/Treasurer Jennifer Winkle resigned her position: Under B. New Business #3 Mayor VanCamp – Discussion/For Possible Action – Consideration to post for vacancy of City Clerk/Treasurer position to initiate recruitment process. Councilman Setterstrom moved to appoint Councilmen Derbidge and Hanson to lead the City Clerk/ Treasurer recruitment process. Councilman Westland seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously. If this is the way the position was advertised and interviewed for and the fact that the City went without a Treasurer as Robert was filling in and doing the position of City Clerk/Treasurer from September 2014 until Treasurer Trask was hired in March of 2017 why can’t he do it temporarily now? If he refuses to do it or doesn’t know how he should be replaced as we can’t afford to pay him over $80,000 a year plus pay an accounting firm an additional $49,200 for something Robert should be doing.
I take offense to the commentary that he made about me making inaccurate comments and my bullying tactics. Just because I’m not afraid to call a spade a spade and I am willing to question and demand that our elected/appointed officials act responsibly in spending our tax dollars doesn’t make me the bad guy. I have lived in Ely for the past 64 years and have over 40 years of service either as a volunteer EMT/Fireman/Police Officer or as a paid employee for the City. So yes I’m going to stand up against anyone I feel is harming the City in any way.