After reading all of the accusations about Mayor Irvine, I decided to do some research about the questions of what has and has not been done.
Let’s go back to where it all began, a FOIA request from Ms. Smith inquiring about eight things.
First, let me say that I have seen all of the statements I am about to mention with my own eyes. They are not hard to find if you just ask.
Mr. Irvine produced seven of the eight items on the list. The eighth one was a form the armory uses with personal information on it about the user.
This is what he refused to share, not the financial statements. This then led to him calling the FOIA agent in Richmond so not to get himself or the committee in trouble. Not once did he refuse to give out financial statements.
Next, let us talk about the ATM withdrawal. Yes, there were 28 in 2016, 18 in 2018, and 10 in 2019. The explanations are plain to see in the statements which are for cleaning purposes, whether buying the supplies or paying someone to clean.
Mr. Irvine plainly admitted to the ATM withdrawals for supplies and paying support staff which has been halted presently.
Mr. Price has an excellent package of statements that was given to the town for review. When he resigned as treasurer, no abnormalities were found with the account. Neither does another treasurer from 2012-2015 acknowledge anything wrong with the account.
So it seems that all treasurers were aware of the ATM withdrawals and approved them. Why else would they put it on their financial statement? If you look at the withdrawals in the years of 2016, 2018 and 2019, you will see that the ATM withdrawals were decreasing.
Think for a moment. If there was misuse of the ATM, wouldn’t you think it would increase instead of decreasing and no withdrawals in 2017? If three treasurers say nothing is wrong, then what is there to question?
Also, why say one of these treasurers resigned because of Mr. Irvine’s behavior during the 2012 election? I personally know that treasurer was the first to call and congratulate Mr. Irvine for winning as I was the second person. Maybe someone did not get what they wanted?
By the way, speaking of records, I also checked on records for this year. They are up to date with the town. Out of two years, nine months, 14 records of minutes out of 33 records, 11 out of 33 calendars, and 14 out of 33 financial statements have been completed.
So 19 records of minutes 22 calendars, and 19 financial statements not turned in with some of the missing paperwork resulting from not holding a monthly meeting.
Now, Mr. Irvine has taken responsibility and changed things and now 2020 is up to date on all paperwork. For anyone to say that no paperwork has been submitted to the town is a false statement.
One very important thing to remember on all of this is when it started in October during the time that the decision was made to not renew the former town manager’s contract. If ATM withdrawals and the managing of the armory was questionable, then why wait 10 years to say or question anything?
Why didn’t the well- regarded town manager say anything on this matter? Nothing was ever mentioned and yet, a group of letter writers are publicly supporting the other candidates to oust the mayor of our town.
Think about this long and hard at election time in November. Do we want a yes man, a person who will do what special interest groups want him to do? Or do we want Mayor Irvine, who has proven time and time again to be for the people, all the people of our town? He is someone that answers problems face to face.
In closing, check the facts before only listening to special interest groups who only want their yes candidates on council for the special treatment to some while the common person is forgotten again.
Let us move forward working together and not this slandering to remove someone who feels differently than you. If you vote for someone else, then let it be based on truth and policies not false accusations to smear the character of someone.
Thank you all for listening.
Roxbury Street, Clifton Forge
The Virginian Review has been serving Covington, Clifton Forge, Alleghany County and Bath County since 1914.