Bartley has dug Elizabethtown out of a mess

To the editor:

As Election Day draws near, I am reminded of the many accomplishments Elizabethtown Supervisor Margaret Bartley has made in the past two years. At the same time, a glimpse of the former administration of Noel Merrihew’s financial management is a reminder that we cannot afford to go backward.

The New York state comptroller’s audit of the town of Elizabethtown, reviewing the period Jan. 1, 2008, to April 30, 2009, during Noel Merrihew’s term, found that:

“financial operations were deficient because the Supervisor (Merrihew) failed to maintain complete and accurate financial records”

“formal bank reconciliations were not completed for any bank accounts”

“when we (Comptroller) tested cash account balances for December 2008 and March 2009, we found discrepancies between the bank statement and general ledger balances that could not be explained, ranging from approximately $260 to $140,260”

“four of seven expenditure accounts we (Comptroller) reviewed were over-expended during the year”

“the bookkeeper attempted to keep track of Town finances, but lacked the training and experience to adequately do so”

“we (Comptroller) asked the Supervisor (Merrihew) and bookkeeper about these improper practices, and found that they did not understand the proper method to account for and control Town expenditures.”

And this is only a partial list of “the multiple errors and irregularities we (comptroller’s auditors) found in the Supervisor’s records and reports.” See the full audit report at

If you judge the candidates on their records, their competency, their ability to maintain complete and accurate accounting records and reports, then you must vote to re-elect Margaret Bartley for Elizabethtown supervisor on Nov. 5.

Evelyn Hatch

Elizabethtown town board