Trustee questions 5-month credit receipt lag

Nov. 16, 2015  PLYMOUTH EAGLE.

Plymouth Michigan News


“Are we just supposed to sit here and approve what is put in front of us or are we stewards of public funds? When I ask questions the three of you (Price, Edwards, Conzelman) pounce on me.”



Questions regarding credit card charges and spending procedures were posed to the administration by Plymouth Township Trustee Bob Doroshewitz during a board meeting earlier this month.

Doroshewitz apologized to the audience before beginning his questions noting that, “We have five months of receipts here, so this may take some time.”

The trustee questioned the reason that five months of credit card bills were presented to the board members at one time, rather than on a monthly basis. Treasurer Ron Edwards responded that there have historically been times when there has been a seven to eight month lag in the presentation of the bills for approval. He indicated that the delay was due to a wait for “people to turn in receipts.”

“That is not acceptable,” Doroshewitz said. He went on to question what he referred to as $10 to $15,000 in charges from Home Depot and asked if the expenses were for the construction project in the park.

“These have to be itemized, otherwise this is illegal,” he said.

Edwards said that if Doroshewitz had specific charges he could probably tell him what they were for “from memory”. Edwards explained that the township buys a great deal from Home Depot on a seasonal basis, such as sand for the playground, mulch, paint, paneling, Quik Crete and “numerous things needed to run the township.” He added that the township is working without a “financial person” and is short-staffed. “We get behind,” Edwards said.

Doroshewitz asked Supervisor Shannon Price if he would explain the procedure for credit card purchases. “What is the process?” he asked.

Price responded that Doroshewitz and the other board members had the meeting packet of documents for a week and his questions could have been answered if he had called the offices with his inquiries.

“You had the ability to go on social media to tell everyone you were going to ask these questions,” Price said. “I know you enjoy ‘gotcha’ politics.”

“What is the process?” Doroshewitz repeated.

Trustee Chuck Curmi said that certain people in the township have credit cards and those cards are considered pre-approved for purchases at different amount limits.

Edwards added that the township has been without an accountant since January and that they did not have the time or the staff to catch up on the receipts for credit card purchases.

“Bear with us, pick up the phone and ask your questions,” he said.

Clerk Nancy Conzelman seconded Edwards’ suggestion, telling Doroshewitz he could have called and had all his questions answered during the week, rather than take up the time at the meeting.

“I’d like to know why you are responding to a question I directed to the supervisor,” Doroshewitz said.

Curmi responded that Conzelman, as the clerk, was responsible for the accounting in the township.

“I’m sure you would rather I was just seen and not heard,” Conzelman told Doroshewitz, and said that his questions were out of order and should be addressed as an agenda item and not during the motion on the floor.

Doroshewitz disagreed and said the items were on the consent calendar and therefore he had the responsibility to ask questions.

Doroshewitz asked Price what he felt the role of a trustee on the board was.

“Are we just supposed to sit here and approve what is put in front of us or are we stewards of public funds? When I ask questions the three of you (Price, Edwards, Conzelman) pounce on me.”

During the audience comment portion of the agenda, citizens asked questions about charges at a brew pub for $40, many other restaurant and food charges, a bill from a dance club, a $199 bill from a craft store and bills from both Shanty Creek and Boyne Highlands, and questioned several other expenses.

One citizen told Price, “Management 101, if it happens in your department, you are responsible.”

Another resident told the board members that it would be beneficial if the expenses could be explained and “tell us, how did this benefit the township.”


Plymouth Voice.


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