In West Vincent, it is clear that the bills will run rampant until another fiscally responsible candidate runs and stops the madness. What bills am I talking about this week? One of the same vendors I have been mentioning for 4 years now (and you can re-read my posts of 17 Oct 2010; 15 Oct, 2012; 5 Nov, 2012) the legal counsel of Siana, Bellwoar.
Some things never change. At the June 23, 2014 West Vincent Township Board of Supervisors meeting, a question was brought up during public comment (6:15 minutes) about legal bills. The video is: http://www.westvincenttwp.org/home/images/videos/BOS-Video-06-23-14%201.mp4
You won't find the question I am referring to in the minutes since the township is now censoring all public comments from the minutes. This leaves only video, which can disappear at any time, as all of last year's did.
I thought it would be a good idea to visit what the citizens of West Vincent are paying for when it comes to legal bills since I have not done so in a while.
Every year the bills from Siana, Bellwoar are out of control. Not by a little, but by a huge amount. When candidate David Brown ran for Supervisor, he stated in a website that both he and his running mate Kit Trolier had a plan to reduce those very bills (a printout is shown in my email of 5 Nov, 2012). When David Brown became a Supervisor, he revealed his grand idea. The plan was simple and elegant. To keep from running over budget, simply raise the budget! Yet even that has not been enough to satiate the insatiable.
The Budget vs.Actual page http://www.westvincenttwp.org/home/images/docs/2013_Year_End_Budget_vs_Actual.pdf reflects a total amount of bills from Siana, Bellwoar in the amount of $122,759.31 while the budgeted amount for 2013 for legal bills was $80,000. According to the official township report, the legal bills were 153.45% more than budgeted! The costs even HIGHER than what was in the Bills lists for some reason. My only assumption is that the Administration has buried those costs in other areas so it doesn't show up directly as bills from Siana, Bellwoar.
When the $80,000 budget didn't cover the amount needed, the budget for legal expenses were ridiculously raised to $90,000 for 2014. http://www.westvincenttwp.org/home/images/docs/2014_Budget.pdf Yet, so far this year, the law firm of Siana Bellwoar has already billed $63,541.59. At that rate, the total legal bills for 2014 could be in excess of $125,000 for a budget of $90,000!
Why, if Siana, Bellwoar are continuously grossly over budget, does the Township insert a clearly fictitious and unachievable low number? Because it looks extremely attractive to have a lower number when the budget is passed at the beginning of the year to the observer/voter. Nobody looks to see if the Administration meets the expectations at the end of the year. The beginning of the year is speculation, the end of the year is fact. Here is the fact, the Township knows better and obviously lies to the public to paint a better picture in an attempt to hide the high legal bills the West Vincent taxpayer endures. Good thing Siana, Bellwoar continues to represent West Vincent Chairman of the Board Ken Miller for lawsuits of not paying bills he owes. Some things never change.
Township documents can be found here:
Here are my calculations:
2013 West Vincent Legal Bills, Siana, Bellwoar
Jan 14 $3,840.35
Feb 11 $10,667.77
Mar 11 $8,473.39
May 13 $8,284.71
May 28 $6,250.57
June 10 $14,955.03
July 22 $13,051.30
Aug 12 $13,312.87
Sept 12 $12,949.27
Sept 23 $2,841.20
Nov 11 $7,151.27
Dec 9 $12,398.19
Total for 2013 $114,175.87
Budgeted amount: $80,000
Here are the bill amounts so far for the year.
2014 West Vincent Legal Bills, Siana, Bellwoar
Jan 13 $8,958.40
Feb 24 $12,997.22
Mar 10 $8,785.66
Apr 14 $8,185.03
May 27 $11,123.07
July 14 $13,491.94
Total to date $63,541.59
As you can see, the first 6 billings of the year set the Township on track to be just as over budget as last year.
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