Letter: Don’t believe ‘political spin’ by commissioner candidate

To the editor:

Once again, our former treasurer and now commissioner, Joe Wray, is trying to put lipstick on a pig to make himself look good to the voters of Brown County, and to allow himself the privilege of continuing to draw a paycheck from the taxpayers while failing to perform in the best interest of our citizens.

The truth is that when Mr. Wray was our county treasurer, for 2011 and 2012, the same year he promoted himself to be named the “Treasurer of the Year,” the Indiana State Board of Accounts auditor made scathing comments in its annual audit report about Mr. Wray’s handling and documentation of county funds, stating that the treasurer’s records contained “material weaknesses,” including the following:

1. “The annual financial report filed was materially misstated due to many funds not being included on the annual financial report.”

2. “Due to the lack of controls in reconciling by the treasurer, there were no controls in place to prevent or detect posting errors to the financial statement,” and “the county has failed to design effective controls over the preparation of the financial statement to prevent or detect material misstatements.”

3. “The amount of the funds ledger balance on the treasurer’s cash book used for reconcilement does not agree to the funds ledger balance reported on the auditor’s ledger.”

4. “At Dec. 31, 2011, the surplus tax fund balance was not reconciled.”

5. “No effort has been made to identify and correct these differences.”

Wow! So much for competence!

Wray left the treasurer’s office without reconciling his financial discrepancies or explaining a financial shortage. Then, as commissioner, he continued to attend “exit conferences” held with the SBOA and still did not demand remedies to the internal management problems that were his “material weaknesses,” and for which he had been responsible. Was this in the taxpayers’ best interest?

Then, as commissioner, Mr. Wray tried to sneak a “sports arena” into the Stellar program — when he knew that a thorough study, conducted with consultation with four departments from Indiana University, determined that this project would be just another financial drain on the taxpayers of Brown County.

Commissioner Wray also took on the presidency of the county’s redevelopment commission for the past two years, during which he accomplished nothing to reverse the economic decline of Brown County.

Then, in January of this year, commissioners Wray and Diana Biddle appointed a candidate to the county redevelopment commission who had taken a one-year full-time job assignment in Texas. Thus far, Mr. Wray has incurred no consequences for his actions!

The foregoing are just a few examples of the arrogance of Mr. Wray, and why he thinks that he can once again dupe the county taxpayers into re-electing him.

This raises several questions:

Why don’t voters care about how public officials mishandle their tax dollars?

Do taxpayers enjoy being duped and mistreated while our local economy continues to decline?

Last, will voters finally wake up and replace Joe Wray from his commissioners position?

Evan A. Werling, Nashville


Send letters to newsroom@bcdemocrat.com by noon Thursday before the date of intended publication.

Letters are the opinions of the writer.

Letters must be signed by the author and include the writer’s town of residence and a contact number in case of questions. Only one letter every two weeks, per writer, to allow for diversity of voices in the opinions section.

Please be considerate of sharing space with other letter-writers and keep your comments concise and to the point.

Avoid name-calling, accusations of criminal activity and second- and third-hand statements of “fact.”

No more election letters

This is the last paper in which letters about election issues or candidates will be printed before the May 3 primary, continuing a longstanding pre-election policy.