Residents of Clifton Forge are aggravated with the Armory Committee leadership and remain frustrated with the failure of our town council to take action on the agreement with the committee.
Not only do the people of Clifton Forge own the armory building, but as town taxpayers have contributed over $155,000 to the armory’s operation from 2012 through 2020.
Now look at the Armory Committee’s money: a review of sketchy records provided show over time they’ve had balances in the tens of thousands, as high as $30,000!
The Armory Committee leadership has not seen fit to use this money to make the armory restrooms handicap accessible. Zero of this excess money has gone back to the town to provide bonuses to town employees.
Instead, the Armory Committee leadership and the Re-Elect Jeff Irvine Campaign contributed money to sponsor fireworks a couple of weekends ago on July 4th.
A review of the sketchy records raises serious concerns about the mismanagement of a publicly owned facility. The public also has concerns about possible legal and ethical activities.
Since the armory building is publicly owned, a legitimate audit needs to take place sooner than later. The State Code of Virginia requires that towns, cities and counties follow strict standards when having their books audited, including oversight by a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). How many more months must we wait on the Armory Committee’s promised audit? Will it be overseen and certified by a CPA?
Clifton Forge Town Council should direct Robinson, Farmer, Cox Associates, the firm that does work for Clifton Forge, Alleghany County and Covington, to perform a thorough audit of the Clifton Forge Armory Committee now — not a year from now. If the Clifton Forge Armory Committee leadership refuses to comply with the audit, our town council should terminate the agreement at once.
If legal and ethical wrongdoing has occurred it is important the town council be part of the solution and not the problem. This requires immediate action by the council, minus two council members Bob Umstead and Jeff Irvine, who also serve on the Armory Committee.
Crestwood Avenue, Clifton Forge
The Virginian Review has been serving Covington, Clifton Forge, Alleghany County and Bath County since 1914.