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CEMETERY ISSUE ADDS ANOTHER “BLACK-EYE” TO YELM’S LACK OF OVERSIGHT

Megan Hansen’s report in the local newspaper “Cemetery caretaker says audit doesnt tell full story” left many unanswered questions.

Hansen reports,
“Tony Ward is disputing allegations in a state audit accusing him of misappropriating Yelm Cemetery District funds.

Auditors claim that Ward owes the district about $62,000 from services, sales, unauthorized pay raises and even a health plan.”

“The audit also noted Ward kept two sets of books, one for the district and one for his monument business.

‘Of course I kept two sets of books,’ Ward said. ‘Did I comingle cemetery money? Yes.’

‘Did the cemetery get their money? Yes.’

Ward had a verbal agreement with the district that for every monument or vault he sold, the district would get $300.”

– Isn’t this an appearance of ‘conflict of interest?
where Ward as Cemetery Caretaker sells monuments on the side?

– Isn’t this an appearance of ‘conflict of interest?
where Ward maintained a separate monument business out of a home provided by the Yelm Cemetery District?

– Isn’t this an appearance of ‘conflict of interest?
where Ward “comingled” cemetery money with his own monument business?

Ed. Note:
This lack of oversight rests squarely with Ward himself & his overseers, the Yelm Cemetery Board, for such wanton breeches of carelessness. Ward can say all he wants he did not misappropriate funds, however he should have been squeaky clean in his bookkeeping in protecting the public’s interests, even more so after his predecessor was let-go in a publicly embarrassing situation for the Cemetery District a decade ago. “Not properly documenting decisions” IS a misappropriation of funds – his own salary as part of his responsibilities!

I raised the issue of appearance of conflict of interest” at the cemetery here on this blog in June, 2010 when I saw a full-page ad in the local newspaper for an Open House using public money for a free food give-away to promote the cemetery.

The Yelm Cemetery District derives funding from property owners within and outside of the City of Yelm.

I am continually amazed at the lack of oversight by Yelm’s elected officials in every area that is supposed to protect the public’s interest. The lack of following standard business practices in Yelm’s handling of public affairs continues to demonstrate a complete lack of understanding by people citizens entrusted with their votes to know better.

And, Yelm’s citizens are paying the price of poor city management through taxes and fees that are immercifully affecting their wallets!
Stay tuned, more taxes and fees still to come!
Wait until the folks see what purchasing Margaret Clapp’s library condo will cost them in annual taxes, for 20 years!

Stay tuned, more taxes and fees still to come!

Posted by Steve on September 10, 2011 at 6:18 am | Permalink

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