Calumet Village Council trustees complain about late budget email

Graham Jaehnig/Daily Mining Gazette Two Calumet Village Council members did not receive emails containing documents necessary to reviewing the 2019 and 2020 budgets until Feb. 27, the day a public hearing on the next fiscal year's budget was scheduled to take place.

CALUMET — The scheduled Feb. 27 meeting of the Village Council to adopt the fiscal year 2020 budget had to be postponed until the next day, because not every trustee received their budget packages in time to adequately review the materials. All trustees were supposed to have received the information via email five days previous to day of the meeting.

The issue arose during a discussion of fund transfers in the 2019 budget, which required reviewing the general fund income/expense statement report for the 12 months ending on Feb. 28, 2019. Trustees Dwyer and Joshua Rowe both said they did not have the documents, and Dwyer asked where the information was to be found.

President Dave Geisler told her it was in the package she received the day before. Trustee Nathan Anderson asked the administrator if a copy could be provided.

“This is so way off, like, I wish I would have seen this yesterday,” Dwyer said. “I’ve never seen this before.”

Geisler responded again that the budget amendments should have been in the council members’ packages.

“This is my package right here,” she said, holding it up. “This one I received at 4 (o’clock) when we arrived. This one (is one) that I got earlier in an email, but I never received this.”

The question of whether two trustees had received the information the day of the public hearing would handicap their efforts to make informed decisions regarding the budget was disputed by Trustee Roxanne King, who responded that Dwyer’s and Rowe’s names appeared on the email she received on Feb. 21. Former Trustee Peggy Germain said she had received the same email packet when King did.

Dwyer said in a later telephone interview that she took Geisler’s statement of her having the packet, and King’s refuting the times in question as a personal affront to her integrity, character and honesty.

“The lies need to stop,” she said.

According to emails obtained by the Daily Mining Gazette through the Freedom of Information Act, they show Dwyer, in fact, did not receive the email packet until 10 a.m. on Feb. 27, six hours before the scheduled 4 p.m. public hearing on the budget.

Dwyer replied to the email at 2:28 p.m., stating the packet did not include the General Fund statement. She received a reply from administrator Joe Snow an hour later stating, “I’ll have it for you at the public hearing.”