Open Letter to UCDD Executive Committ...

Open Letter to UCDD Executive Committee and Board of Directors

Posted in the Cookeville Forum

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Concerned Citizen

United States

#1 Feb 4, 2012
To the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of Upper Cumberland Development District (UCDD)
I am writing to request an investigation into allegations of misconduct and possible malfeasances of office regarding Wendy Askins, executive director of the Upper Cumberland Development District (UCDD). There have been numerous rumors regarding Ms. Askins involvement with Living the Dream Independent Living for Seniors. The Herald Citizen newspaper printed an article on January 29, 2012 featuring Ms. Askins and other employees of UCDD making admissions that UCDD funds were used to finance Living the Dream. Ms. Askins also admitted that these funds were approved by the UCDD Board of Directors during a Board Meeting. However, Ms. Askins has not produced the minutes of that Board Meeting to prove her assertion. I as a citizen of Putnam County would like to see the minutes of that meeting. I would also like to know why the Board would approve UCDD funding for a project that appears to be a conflict of interest for Ms. Askins and UCDD. Ms. Askins admits that she lives at Living the Dream and volunteers thousands of hours to the project. If she is volunteering thousands of hours at Living the Dream, when is she fulfilling her duties as executive director of UCDD? Ms. Askins failed to mention in the newspaper article that her daughter, Anna Marie Askins, lives at Living the Dream, and they use the facility as a private residence. In fact, Anna Marie Askins graduated from college in December 2011, and Ms. Askins hosted a graduation party for Anna at Living the Dream. If Living the Dream is a UCDD funded project, why is Ms. Askins being allowed to use it as a private residence? Does Ms. Askins have a personal financial interest in Living the Dream?
In addition to the conflict of interest issues, I have heard rumors that Ms. Askins and members of her family may be receiving compensation from Living the Dream. If that is true, why is Ms. Askins and her family being compensated for something that Ms. Askins claims is volunteer work? That would be a definite conflict of interest, especially since Living the Dream has received UCDD funds. I also heard a rumor that the vice chairman of the Executive Meeting, John Pelham may have some interest in Living the Dream. Is that true? Did Mr. Pelham vote to give UCDD funds to Living the Dream? I think that would be a conflict of interest. I understand that Ms. Askins operated another business called LA Management. Was that business financed with UCDD funds? Ms. Askins never addressed LA Management nor even acknowledged that the business existed. According to records from Secretary of State’s office, LA Management existed at the same address as Living the Dream. There are many questions that have not been answered. The citizens of the Upper Cumberland deserve answers from Ms. Askins, the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors about why UCDD funds were used to finance Living the Dream.
point of view

Byrdstown, TN

#2 Feb 4, 2012
Concerned Citizen wrote:
To the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of Upper Cumberland Development District (UCDD)
I am writing to request an investigation into allegations of misconduct and possible malfeasances of office regarding Wendy Askins, executive director of the Upper Cumberland Development District (UCDD). There have been numerous rumors regarding Ms. Askins involvement with Living the Dream Independent Living for Seniors. The Herald Citizen newspaper printed an article on January 29, 2012 featuring Ms. Askins and other employees of UCDD making admissions that UCDD funds were used to finance Living the Dream. Ms. Askins also admitted that these funds were approved by the UCDD Board of Directors during a Board Meeting. However, Ms. Askins has not produced the minutes of that Board Meeting to prove her assertion. I as a citizen of Putnam County would like to see the minutes of that meeting. I would also like to know why the Board would approve UCDD funding for a project that appears to be a conflict of interest for Ms. Askins and UCDD. Ms. Askins admits that she lives at Living the Dream and volunteers thousands of hours to the project. If she is volunteering thousands of hours at Living the Dream, when is she fulfilling her duties as executive director of UCDD? Ms. Askins failed to mention in the newspaper article that her daughter, Anna Marie Askins, lives at Living the Dream, and they use the facility as a private residence. In fact, Anna Marie Askins graduated from college in December 2011, and Ms. Askins hosted a graduation party for Anna at Living the Dream. If Living the Dream is a UCDD funded project, why is Ms. Askins being allowed to use it as a private residence? Does Ms. Askins have a personal financial interest in Living the Dream?
In addition to the conflict of interest issues, I have heard rumors that Ms. Askins and members of her family may be receiving compensation from Living the Dream. If that is true, why is Ms. Askins and her family being compensated for something that Ms. Askins claims is volunteer work? That would be a definite conflict of interest, especially since Living the Dream has received UCDD funds. I also heard a rumor that the vice chairman of the Executive Meeting, John Pelham may have some interest in Living the Dream. Is that true? Did Mr. Pelham vote to give UCDD funds to Living the Dream? I think that would be a conflict of interest. I understand that Ms. Askins operated another business called LA Management. Was that business financed with UCDD funds? Ms. Askins never addressed LA Management nor even acknowledged that the business existed. According to records from Secretary of State’s office, LA Management existed at the same address as Living the Dream. There are many questions that have not been answered. The citizens of the Upper Cumberland deserve answers from Ms. Askins, the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors about why UCDD funds were used to finance Living the Dream.
I sure do hope that this open letter is read by some of the county board members in ALL surrounding counties that are served through UCDD. I personally would like for this to be resolved, before the county of Overton has finished with Mt. Vernon in Livingston. I have been told that Mt. Vernon will be on the same level of Living the Dream. I pay alot of taxes in Overton Co. and would prefer that my taxes be spent in a more conservative manner.
Would like to Know

Manchester, TN

#3 Feb 4, 2012
Why was Ms Askins appointed to this position in the first place? I heard she has little more than a High School Education, yet receives a 6 figure salary, along with many other special perks. She supervises others that are required to have a college degree for their positions, yet she is not required to have the same level of Education. This makes no sense at all. Is this just good old politics at it's best or is this an oversight that she is in this position without the Education and Experience?
concerned taxpayer

Lebanon, TN

#4 Feb 5, 2012
she is abusing the system hope it will soon come to an end she is dishonest, i to would like to know is the board will continue to support her wreckless behavior, if so maybe next election we should elect new officals...
dosomething

Cookeville, TN

#5 Feb 5, 2012
Why don't you actually mail the letter? Petiton the county? Stop posting on topix!
FYI

Manchester, TN

#6 Feb 5, 2012
dosomething wrote:
Why don't you actually mail the letter? Petiton the county? Stop posting on topix!
Why don't you stay off tpoix so you don't have to read the post and they can keep writing the post and everybody is happy.
fire the bastadge

Cookeville, TN

#7 Feb 5, 2012
i think everyone in this county should be fired. i will run it for all of you. we'll start with getting rid of the mexicans
coming soon

Goodlettsville, TN

#8 Feb 10, 2012
Here is a promotion for Newschannel 5's investigation into UCDD that starts on Monday. Can't wait to see the whole thing!
personal note

Byrdstown, TN

#9 Feb 10, 2012
coming soon wrote:
Here is a promotion for Newschannel 5's investigation into UCDD that starts on Monday. Can't wait to see the whole thing!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =xXZ8m4AMxYQXX
curious to know how they got inside to film, could this be one of Wendy Askins little tricks!! we will see on Mon.
Must See

Goodlettsville, TN

#10 Feb 10, 2012
I hear she gave them a tour awhile back when she thought she could talk her way out of it. My source says she lawyered-up and refused to answer their questions when she learned they weren't as gullible as the UCCD board appears to be.
personal note wrote:
<quoted text>curious to know how they got inside to film, could this be one of Wendy Askins little tricks!! we will see on Mon.
concerned taxpayer

Lebanon, TN

#11 Feb 11, 2012
that figures.
puzzled

Gainesboro, TN

#12 Feb 11, 2012
who are the board members?
concerned taxpayer

Lebanon, TN

#13 Feb 12, 2012
you can find the members names at ucdd.org
check it out

Nashville, TN

#14 Feb 14, 2012
Channel 5 posted the receipts and photos of some of the things the agency purchased.
http://www.newschannel5.com/category/230563/c...
cant wait

Cookeville, TN

#15 Feb 14, 2012
Was anybody else disturbed by her grocery purchases? Why on Earth would UCDD be pating for her personal groceries??? Also, why is there a barn there? She paid $20k to finish the inside of the barn. No telling how much to build it in the first place. She paid for hay and vet products for her horses!!! WTH to horses have to do with caring for the elderly?
Get it right

Cookeville, TN

#16 Feb 14, 2012
cant wait wrote:
Was anybody else disturbed by her grocery purchases? Why on Earth would UCDD be pating for her personal groceries??? Also, why is there a barn there? She paid $20k to finish the inside of the barn. No telling how much to build it in the first place. She paid for hay and vet products for her horses!!! WTH to horses have to do with caring for the elderly?
The barn was already there.
cant wait

Cookeville, TN

#17 Feb 14, 2012
Get it right wrote:
<quoted text>
The barn was already there.
Still took $20k to finish it!!!
Get it right

Cookeville, TN

#18 Feb 14, 2012
cant wait wrote:
<quoted text>
Still took $20k to finish it!!!
Not disagreeing with you there.
This is what I saw

Altamont, TN

#19 Feb 14, 2012
Real estate Assessment Data
There were two showing for Living the Dream;

8/9/2011 Total Market Assessment living for a Dream $481,300

8/9/2011 Total Market Assessment living for a Dream $90,200

And there were two showing for her own name;
Real Estate Assessment Data Property in her name

Wendy Askins TMA $124,500
Wendy Askins TMA $159,600

I may not be exactly right, but maybe if Wendy sees this she can correct me. What strikes me is that Living the Dream property assessment appears super low for what the investigative I - team showed. And another thing that struck me nothing was in her husband's name, and then finally she moves from a 124- 150 thousand dollar home to at least a half million dollar home? I guess all of her hard work was just starting to pay off. OOOOoops, maybe not.
Dumb a double s

Lexington, TN

#20 Feb 15, 2012
When do you think she will figure out who blew the whistle on her

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