Ashland Township Has Had Previous Issues In State Audits
8:57 AM, Oct 19, 2010
The trustee of a Morgan County township has stepped down, citing personal reasons, after admitting there's no more money for poor relief.Ashland Township Trustee Dorothy Brummett submitted her resignation Monday and disconnected the phone for the township office, which is also her home, 6News' Kara Kenney reported.She told 6News on Tuesday that the township spent all $5,000 designated for poor relief for the year."There've been a lot of people needing help in this area, and I just ran out of money," she said. "The only thing I can do is direct people who need help. It's not a good feeling."Brummett's resignation came after resident Tammy Lay, who is disabled, requested assistance to help pay her electric bill, but was denied due to lack of funds."I was really surprised. I would have thought they would have something," she said.Several recent audits by the State Board of Accounts revealed problems in Ashland Township such as inadequate record keeping, overspending funds and not requiring a written contract for services.Brummett admitted that because of personal issues, she didn't do the best job as trustee."I'm not dealing with all the things that have happened in my life," she said. "I just basically shut down."Lay appealed to the county commissioners, who don't have direct authority over townships but handle appeals if someone's request for relief is denied.She said she believes it's clear trustees need more oversight."If they can't do it on their own, then they need someone to encourage them," she said.The State Department of Local Government Finance approves townships budgets, tax rates and levies. The township board also approves the budget.6News was unable to reach any of the Ashland Township Board members Tuesday.The Morgan County Republican Party chairman will hold a caucus within 30 days to select a temporary trustee.The only person running for the office is Brummett's daughter, Sandra Norman, who told 6News she would do her best to clear up the problems. Norman is also a precinct chair and will be on the caucus to choose a temporary replacement.In the meantime, those in need are being told to reach out to churches and community organizations for assistance. Several people have stepped up to help Lay pay her electric bill.