Talihina Township's Friends and Family Plan
Posted in the Red Oak Forum
#1 May 1, 2014
Talihina citizens should vote out or insist on the right to vote on the Mayor, Chief of Police, and council members. We are in serious financial problems in Talihina and we need people who are tough enough to make difficult choices that may involve the pay received or the number city employees required to perform the necessary duties.
#2 May 3, 2014
Citizens can vote, there are elections for our town council , I work for the town and I will tell you that the staff for the Town of Talihina and Talihina Public Works works very hard for this town. And we are under staff as it is. The pay received for the employees seems to be everyone's concern, How would you like to lose your job and your means of living. Why should it have to come back on the employees. We haven't done anything but our job, The people of the town could help to , besides putting everyone down. The town had an election for a 1 cent tax increase, the citizens who did vote said no. The people do alot of shopping away from Talihina, so there goes that tax money. The water plant has not been up dated since Moses came and there were many different council's during that time.
Now we have a large debt to up date the plant, which is also financial . But it is required by law to get it done or have no water. These problems have grown over the years ( a lot of years ). Laying blame is not the way to correct anything, Working together as a union is how to to start. I have lived in this town for many years, I have worked at City Hall for many years, and it sadden me to think that the problems( that can be corrected with help ) people think have all come about by employees and the present council. One more thing calling the post Family and Friends--- In this SMALL town is what you have is Family and Friends.....Close all the doors and board the windows cause our town is Family and Friends Just Saying and I use my real name.
#3 May 3, 2014
I have been a member of the council for over 10 years. During this time we have made a number of improvements. Citizens, employees, volunteers have come to us with a number of improvements. Not all of these could be granted, but as a caring council we tried very hard to make the best decisions we could and appropriate the funds when we were advised that we could.
During my term, the council and town has worked together to provide a new swimming pool. This was voted for by the citizens. Through volunteer dollars, we have new playground equipment. City dollars bought new grills and replaced the picnic tables that were falling apart. Would you have had us just take up the old tables and said, no more tables?
We have purchased fire equipment and a new fire truck. Some was grant money, some was city budget. All was needed. Our hard working volunteer fireman needed this equipment. Would you send your son or daughter into a fire without it?
We helped support an organization to bring activities and businesses to Talihina. During Main Streets active time, we gained many new businesses and provided many family activities downtown. When the money became tight, the city funding was pulled from this program and the program could not survive without the city support. Have you missed the Spring Carnival, Movies, Mad Dash, Halloween Spooktacular?
Now we are in the middle of a multimillion water plant revision. The town had no choice but to make these improvements. After paying a $10,000 fine for water issues, the fines would have become larger and larger. We received what grant money we could, and borrowed the rest from Rural Water development. Our water department worked hard to help us find this funding. Yes water rates were raised, a forced issue by the lender. There may need to be raises in the future, but my vote is to try to hold this off. Our citizens and businesses are already paying a large load and none of the council wants to burden them further.
While working on all these improvements, unfortunately, we were not always given the whole truth. It has only been since we hired a trained accountant that we have discovered that we have been miss lead for several years. Yes, I asked questions, yes we were given reports.
In retrospect, I regret some of my votes. I apologize for not digging into financial records and discovering that we should not have purchased some of the very needed items.
In the past few months, spending has been cut, expenses are being looked at closely. We have made educated decisions on insurance premiums, cut phone bills in half. Said no many times to spending request.
So my question to you- what else do we cut?
Senior Citizens, Police, Fire, Library, Pool?? Do we stop mowing the ditches? Close the Park?
What would you like us to raise?
Water rates, trash rates, fees for yard sales and temporary vendors?
Would you support a 1/2 penny or 1 cent sales tax increase?
I believe we are in much better financial shape today then we were last year. We know the true numbers and have a dedicated staff that is working hard to help us come up with solutions. I know that without further cuts or more income, our total financial shortfall will not met.
Thank you for your time,
#4 May 6, 2014
Thanks for the report, See my comments in rely to LaDale. No reply requested unless you feel compelled.
#5 May 8, 2014
"miss lead" (Misled) smacks of being lied to and embezzlement. Was there embezzlement? How much was ripped-off? Are charges going to be filed or "swept under the rug" as what appears to be the standard modus operandi for this community.
#6 May 15, 2014
It seems more like the signatories on these documents and the number of people who should be more diligent about looking into the documents and requirements did not bother to do so. The trained accountant has conducted important work. If she is still on as a city employee, and the absence of a time-limited contract seems to indicate that she is a full-time city employee then her aunt or whatever the relationship, Ms. Gina Gregson should leave due to nepotism. Friends and family .......The accountant earns $25 per hour and we have another treasurer.
The accountant reports that IRS correspondence was ignored and unanswered for several years. That is something that someone should have realized instead of blaming the former treasurer for the oversight of the entire city government.
The water tower in Talihina is just an expensive fixture because someone did not assess whether the existing system was adequate to pump water into the tower.
The police have been promised by our Mayor that none would lose their jobs as long as she is Mayor. No other cost reductions are being explored just more and more expenditures. No determinations or analysis of the potential for outsourcing or contracting to save money. No time spent in task studies or management analysis.
The only thing accomplished to raise money or save money has been to raise our sewer rates by 10%. Ready to vote yet?
#7 May 18, 2014
I heard the sewer was going up to keep the pool open. What happened to people paying for the service they use? Cost to go to the pool is the cheapest babysitting you will find anywhere. Why aren't parents paying more for the pool use instead of everyone in town seeing their water and sewer bills go up?
#8 May 20, 2014
To Town Mom,
You stated that prices should be raised to pay cover the cost of that item. The sewer rates were raised because after an accounting report it was evident that we were charging less for the sewer than it cost. The little profit that we will be making now will help with future improvements. It was not done to pay for the pool.
The entrance fee to the pool has been raised to help cover those expenses. Pool party fee was also raised to cover labor cost for those parties. The city will be selling their own concessions to help make income for the pool.
A big thank you to the Boy Scouts for their donation of pool chemicals.
I thank you for understanding that we can not continue to sell services for less than it cost.
#9 May 20, 2014
So Rhonda can you tell us the amount of the grant recieved
#10 May 21, 2014
It is nice yo get an explanation. Thank you.
#11 May 21, 2014
To big bob, which grant are you referring to?
#12 May 22, 2014
You are so right. People need to go to all meetings and find out what can be done and what is being done. The town needs help. As a citizen we are all responsible for what happens to our town.
#13 May 27, 2014
It has been a long stretch for the city government's lack of accountability. If the sewer is costing more than is being charged for the service then by all means charge more. However, efforts to continue to bring our budget into balance and to hold people responsible for their decisions is an ongoing effort....It is just the beginning. Seriously, do we need all of thewater department people, the police, their rental cars, is everyone on the dole working full-time or just whenever necessary. Have these considerations been reviewed or analyzed. Always just these curt and short answers but no data that would prove that we need the employees that we have or why. I know the police are still using private citizens to handle animal control issues while denying us the city hall as a meeting place. I can't wait to see the response, something about dressing up like ninjas and bothering people. That comedic BS courtesy of our prestigious council woman whose niece is on the city dole as an accountant for about 1/2 a year by now, I think. Can you spell NEPOTISM. Isn't nepotism against the law. Perhaps I don't have all the facts. I guess she didn't want to attend committee meetings and found a way to opt out officially although she attended only one meeting to begin with. WE already knew the city has little interest in animal control. I'd like to see her voted off asap just for that insult as well as many others and the mayor voted off for listening to that crap. No doubt Faulkenberry started the creative rendition but when confronted gave a 100% "I don't remember." Chicken!. How is he in line to be the next police chief if he is scared of admitting to his own BS. Or maybe he would make a great addition to our city government because he already has the dishonesty part down.
#14 May 30, 2014
By they way, the mayor states that the animal advocate group is welcome to meet at city hall and is not aware of ninja stalking weirdo story. Certainly does narrow down who the responsible parties are. So to be fair, mayor is not playing that game.
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