On Tuesday, May 13, you printed a letter to the editor from commissioner and candidate Vera Jones, in which she states, “I hope you have not been fooled by the misleading and false information that has been spread in order to try and steal an election.” This statement can only be described as one of the most hypocritical statements ever put in print. Mrs. Jones has fashioned her political career based on misleading and false information.
Do you recall her misleading campaign platform and promises from four years ago? Do you remember when she made accusations on television news that the former county administrator and county clerk had misappropriated (stolen) funds? Not only did these statements pressure the financial auditor, employees were pressured to resign their posts. The employees were later exonerated by a special investigation conducted by the very same auditor who provided the misinformation initially. From where did the original misinformation come?
Mrs. Jones has focused a lot of effort on trying to justify why she refused to return a mistaken overpayment of more than $500,000 from the county. Her recent letter to the editor claims to outline “facts,” discussions, and activities prior to a signed binding agreement. She fails to mention that her company signed an agreement, just as other developers, that outlined reimbursement would be received from impact fees collected from subdivisions associated with the infrastructure her company constructed.
Does her interpretation of a county wrongdoing justify her wrongdoing of keeping the money? From where does this $800,000 collection of fees come? Is she speaking on behalf of the board of commissioners? If the county is profiting from water/sewer, why is the board seeking to refinance? Is there an official report, study, document or declaration by the board? Is all of this further misleading, self-promoting campaign-speak much like the “I saved the county $12 million”? When general fund reserves were used to pay an existing water/sewer debt, how was money saved? Further, in shifting these reserves, the county became obligated to release nearly $4 million more to the municipalities. Exactly where are the savings?
Ask the tough questions. Why has the most recent financial audit report been stalled until after the election, when it is normally provided in December? Why did the forum panel ask such specific questions? If she is focusing resources and efforts toward one municipality, what is being done for the other municipalities? What are the details about this landfill issue? She seems to have accomplished a lot in the first person; is she speaking on behalf of the entire board of commissioners?
Editor’s note: Zeigler is running against Jones for the 2nd District seat on the county commission.