Public comments on Wabash Township Trustee indictment at board meeting

Wabash Township board members and constituents got the chance to address Trustee Jennifer Teising's indictment Tuesday night.

Posted: May 18, 2021 9:23 PM

WABASH TOWNSHIP, Ind. (WLFI) - Wabash Township board members and constituents got the chance to address Trustee Jennifer Teising's indictment Tuesday night.

As we've previously reported, Trustee Teising is facing 20 charges of wage theft from the state, charges she has made clear she is going to fight.

Constituent Jamie Roth said Teising is endangering the lives of her family and her neighbors by single-handedly destroying something beautiful. She said Trustee Teising is an "abhorrent person on a power trip" who makes "decisions that are atrocious."

She wished evil on Trustee Teising and had her teenage son agree with her sentiments through zoom.

Constituent Amos Miller asked several questions, including if Trustee Teising has any plans to resign because of lack of trust. He also asked with concern about the plans for disbanding the volunteer fire department and firing the full time fire department employees.

Trustee Teising said she did not have any comment and that people should email their concerns to her office. Board President Angel Valentin said the board also has concern about the future of the fire department, but he confirmed that they do have funds to maintain the department through the end of the year. He said they have another fire loan coming that will sustain the department through the end of the board member's terms. 

Constituent Randall Ward wanted to know what the process is for reconciliation of bills. Board Member Brandon Betz said the state looks through township funds and looks over the proposed budget to make sure funds are available for the future. He said an audit is done once a term, but that given the Teising's charges, he said he expects another audit to coming soon. He said board members have asked the trustee for more regular accountability with finances.

Teising then spoke up saying the board had made it clear to her that they did not support using emergency funds to sustain the department.

President Valentin responded and clarified that the board does not support the use of emergency funds to hire on more paid department staff. He said that money will eventually run out, meaning those positions are not sustainable. 

"I don't want to add more people to this fiasco," he said during the meeting, adding that the board does support using emergency funding to current fire fighter needs.

The board then moved on to other agenda items, including renewing collaboration with NICHES Land Trust to help maintain the Sand Ridge Cemetery. There are endangered species in the cemetery that NICHES wants to preserve while also keeping up maintenance on the burial grounds in a respectful way.

The board then discussed budget considerations for 2022. Those included use of funds township assistance and dispersing leftover funds from last year, expansion of aid to creating an emergency insulin bank, increased outreach to communities in need and partnerships with local organizations. 

Trustee Teising added that they already have a list of 50 organizations that the township partners with. Board Member Betz asked for a list of those organizations so that they don't redouble their efforts.

The next meeting on June 15th will be open to in person guests. They will be covering budget considerations on cemeteries and for the year of 2022.

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