UPDATE: Richwood Aldermen Take No Action on Due Town Budget

UPDATE 10:00 p.m. -- At their special meeting Wednesday night, the Richwood Board of Aldermen took no action on the 2014-2015 town budget that was due on Tuesday.

They claimed they had no hand in writing it and they're not trusting provisions they claim fiscal administrator Jonald Walker put in.

"'Professional Services. $200,000,'" read Alderwoman Leola Keys, reading off the budget. "What is that refrring to? Is it referring to Mr. Walker's salary? By the way, board, you don't even know what his schedule is or what he's making."

"How can a town with a budget of right at $1 million have $200,000, almost a fourth of that, going to professional service?" echoed Alderwoman Margie Davis. "You don't sign anything you don't know what they're talking about, you don't understand."

Walker didn't attend the special meeting, an absence not lost on local residents.

"Why can't he come to a regular meeting and explain to the board and the citizens?" one resident asked the board.

According to the Richwood town clerk, Walker was set to meet with the aldermen for the last two days.

"Did any of you actually meet with Mr. Walker?" KTVE/KARD Reporter Nick Lawton asked.

Only one out of four aldermen asked reported meeting with Walker, Alderman Gerald Brown.

"I had questions in regard to the budget, certain line items on the budget, what those expenditures were, what his projections were. I had some questions on our bonds that we're paying on," Brown said.

We asked Brown if he was satisfied with Walker's answers.

"They were satisfactory for me. I can't speak for everybody else," he replied.

State auditors said Walker's presence has kept Richwood off the state Non-Compliance List, but aldermen say projects are still stopped.

They also claim since the 2012 audit, Walker has cut their monthly salaries from $775 to $224.

Some aldermen went so far as to question Walker's credibility.

"Maybe, board, we need to look into some government investigative agency to look into Mr. Walker's doings," said Keys.

In the end, the budget was not passed, leaving the financial future of Richwood still in murky water.

When KTVE/KARD asked the Richwood Aldermen when there would be another meeting to discuss the budget, they said they couldn't tell us right now.

The town clerk did confirm Walker had come to Richwood, but so far only Brown confirmed meeting with him.


-- At their special meeting Wednesday night, the Richwood Board of Aldermen took no action to approve a town budget which was due July 1st.

This meeting was intended to fall after the aldermen met with the town's fiscal administrator, Jonald Walker, on Monday and Tuesday.

We asked four of the aldermen if they'd met with Walker and only one out of four told KTVE/KARD they actually got the chance to meet with Walker while he was in town.

Walker also was not in attendance at the special meeting.

The aldermen took no action on the budget and said they don't know when they'll meet on the budget next.

Several aldermen said they couldn't make a decision on the budget when they didn't understand where hundreds of thousands of budgeted dollars were specifically going toward.

We'll have the full story tonight on KARD Fox 14 News at 9 and KTVE 10 News at 10.

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