April 24, 2014

Elyria
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Ex-clerk demands resignation over record keeping

CARLISLE TWP. — The state auditor’s office’s concerns over how Carlisle Township managed its money in 2004 and 2005 has the former township clerk calling on the woman who replaced her to resign.
Former Clerk Linda Lowery is urging township residents to join her at a June 18th trustee meeting to demand Clerk Barbara VanMeter to step down.
According to the auditor’s office, the township’s books didn’t add up when state auditors examined them. Among the problems listed in an October letter to the township, which called the books unauditable, there was $248,660 in debt that wasn’t posted in the ledgers. They also found balances of $144,658 in 2004 and $308,387 in 2005 that didn’t add up.
VanMeter blames the problems on Lowery and computer crashes. After Lowery retired in 2003,VanMeter has said she inherited boxed financial records that were in disarray.
That was compounded by problems with her computer that forced her to try to rebuild the records using the boxed material.
But Lowery said Friday that she turned over well-organized boxes of financial documents that were in perfect order and even worked with VanMeter to help her understand her new duties.
Since then, she’s offered to help VanMeter, who has refused her aid.
Township officials say no money is actually missing, and they have hired an accounting firm to figure out the books, but Lowery said it’s money that wouldn’t need to be spent if VanMeter were doing her job.
“She’s just not spending the time she needs to and is perhaps doing it too sloppily,” she said.
VanMeter could not be reached for comment Friday.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.