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Fink and Ray respond to charges

Monday’s Tyrone Borough Council meeting focused on Mayor Pat Stoner and Borough Manager Al Drayovich responses to Letters to the Editor in Saturday’s Daily Herald from Tyrone residents Bill Fink and Jim Ray.
Following the meeting, Ray and Fink spoke with The Daily Herald to respond to the comments of the mayor and borough manager.
“In the meeting, we have to sit there and take our licks,” said Fink. “We can’t rebut in the meeting. There are several things that the mayor pointed out in her message to the two rebels that I want to clarify. One of the things is that she accused us of pressing the envelope. If there is any envelope pressing here the mayor is pressing the envelope. None of this information that we are putting out in these letters to the editor and none of the activities we are involved in with regard to researching and getting this information is personal. The mayor is taking it personal. The council people in back of her are taking it personal. It is not personal. If Mr. Drayovich would have made a budget that was readable and understandable you wouldn’t have to go in and dig, you wouldn’t have to rip and tear apart to find out the answers. We ask questions, what do we get back in return? We get back a bunch of rhetoric. And every bit of this tonight (Monday) was rhetoric. He confirmed the $25,000 for some of those employees and for the four retired police officers. We found that in the budget and that was part of the information that was in the $345,000 across the board total benefits package. They didn’t answer any of the questions. But, yet, they ridiculed and criticized because we asked them.”
With regards to police protection Fink was adamant in his response.
“About police protection, we never questioned police protection,” said Fink. “We continuously questioned the need for two more full time police officers that were in the budget and have been in the budget for several years. You’ve got two full time officers, one who has been on disability for quite some time. You have a chief and one full time officer that is really running the borough. You’ve got 11 part-time officers who are out there risking their lives for what? I don’t even know if they are covered by health care insurance. The point is, the minute they get a full time opportunity, they are gone. We’re not saying the Mayor is not concerned about the public safety. The record shows that the council is not concerned with public safety because they haven’t moved to hire those two police officers.”
Ray believes there is money in the budget that can be trimmed.
“There is money in the budget to hire those two police officers,” said Ray. “Mr. Drayovich questioned my ability to read accounting. I understand that there is three funds and I understand that there are listings in the three funds that are under different headings. Whenever you are figuring out a budget, you want to know where your wages are and where your benefits are in each fund. I had to go through six or eight pages in the general fund just to come up with wages and benefits of the full time and part time employees. Mr. Drayovich did a lot of questioning of my ability to understand figures, but I didn’t hear him say any of my figures were wrong.”
Ray also addressed council member Jim Beckwith who spoke at the meeting.
“I took real offense to Mr. Beckwith speaking out of turn,” Ray said. “My comments were addressed to the mayor and Al Drayovich and then he had to put his personal comments in and they were totally uncalled for. I took it personally, I probably shouldn’t but I did. I pretty much told him I wasn’t talking to him. I didn’t care what he had to say.”
Fink isn’t taking the message personally.
“I believe that what we have here is issues that need addressed,” said Fink. “We need serious people to address them. The major issue that was addressed at the last council meeting was raised by the newest council member regarding the Sam’s Club account and why they have Sam’s Club cards and who is authorized to use the cards. These are cards that are paid for by the borough, $35 for each membership. The borough manager indicated that these cards are used by them to do official business. My question is have they ever gone to Sam’s Club to get a print out to find out how many times these cards have been used and what they have been used for and to see who has been using them and when. If that is the biggest concern that they have, when they are facing in December of next year a whopping $6,000 left in the General Fund, I have to wonder.
“This is the second time that Pat Stoner has confronted me about misinformation about half truths and half information,” said Fink. “The last time was in front of the borough building when she and three or four council members surrounded me on the steps and she lashed out and poked me in the chest with her finger and justed lined my back up one side and down the other in the prescence of one of the other folks who attend the meetings. That time, like this time, I think we got more information than we had ever gotten in a council meeting, just because we pressed the envelope. If that is what it takes to get answers and clarify issues, then I will continue to press the envelope. All they have to do is be open. All they have to do is lay it out so you can understand it. If they do that, I won’t have any questions.”
Ray responded to the mayor taking his comments personally about not caring about the community and its safety.
“All you have to do is attend a couple of these council meetings when they start talking about the police department, the meter changes at the snap of a finger,” said Ray. I am just picking up on what I have seen in the year or year and a half that I have been going to the meetings. She was already to pick up on anything I said negative to her, but I also gave them kudos on the good job that they did last year when the mill closed. The positive spin on them not overspending on the capital end of things and they could do that again this year. I can’t see a reason in the world that we have to spend that budget down to $6,000. I am sure next week, that will be addressed. Let’s see if they come up with any kind of alternative spending, but I don’t look for it.
Tyrone Borough Council meets Monday night at 7 p.m. at the Tyrone Municipal Building.