Forestville woes easy to ‘understand’
By MARGIE WORKOFF
I understand that through the hard work of a handful of officials and staff that we, Forestville taxpayers, avoided one of the largest property tax increases in history and are still responsible for a ridiculously high increase!
I understand that Mayor Kevin Johnson, former Mayor Linda Aures and their administrations inherited a huge mess not of their making.
I understand that we Forestville taxpayers are caught between a rock and a hard place, with the only choices being between bad and worse.
Now some may blame dementia and others my reputation for crankiness but I do not understand why if an issue is valid that the messenger should matter, particularly when the taxpayers have been conned and defrauded without consequence for years.
I do not understand the vile and hostile opposition my friend Mayor Aures was subject to by this community as she attempted to clean up messes and do things right unlike her many predecessors.
I do not understand how former village attorney Michael Bolender is not already in jail, having collected over $1 million from Forestville and other little communities not to mention collecting $120,000 annual pension on the taxpayers’ dime given the preponderance of bad counsel and fraudulent misrepresentation.
I do not understand how former village Mayor Richard Yeager approved and oversaw Bolender defrauding the village for $800,000 in fees and a $250,000 demo of a building not even belonging to the village.
I do not understand how former village clerk Marcia Petersen was illegally hired while still on the board. How she overpaid Bolender by thousands and how she stormed out of office leaving a disorganized mess in the midst of an audit and under a cloud of suspicion.
I do not understand how former village Mayor Charles Brewster allowed the Bennett State Road project to go through without the water district in place and paid a former trustee $18,000 an acre for landlocked parcels.
I do not understand how former village Mayor Beth Bowker authorized pay raises and personnel changes costing taxpayers thousands without board approval.
I do not understand how the village paid Forecon $5,000 to do a timber management report and produced two reports only for the board to take no action and have the reports in the hands of former officials instead of with the village where they belong.
I do not understand how former officials and trustees, including Chum Bowker, Molly Meadows and Betty Higgs, were allowed to manipulate and play puppetmasters for their own benefit for decades setting the stage for this mess.
I do not understand why no one has been put in jail.
I do not understand why the village does not own the properties that taxpayers have paid so dearly for to demo and clean up.
I do not understand how a village that has had so many unopposed elections and so low of voter turnout would not be willing to at least investigate options to see if we can save money while maintaining or improving service.
I do not understand why every single village voter is not impatiently waiting with me to sign a petition that will at the very least get us independent third party assistance to verify our financial condition and real options going forward.
Margie Workoff is a Forestville resident.