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Wabash Township trustee and board members clash at annual report meeting

The Wabash Township Board finally met this evening with Trustee Jennifer Teising for its annual financial report. This meeting was supposed to happen on January 19th. However, Teising requested for it to be pushed back twice.

Posted: Feb 10, 2021 12:11 AM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - The Wabash Township Board finally met this evening with Trustee Jennifer Teising for its annual financial report. This meeting was supposed to happen on January 19th. However, Teising requested for it to be pushed back twice.

It was clear that the board members and the trustee were not on the same page. It's been at least four months since Teising has shown up for a regular board meeting. There was some heated back and forth between board members and the trustee about several topics during the meeting.

Teising said her vision for the township's future has always been to move toward becoming a fire district. The township's long-term funding source is not solidified at the moment, and becoming a fire district would ensure that a tax levy could be set at a specific amount. She said the goal is to hire three more full time firefighters in 2021.

Several board members said that this direction had not been clearly communicated. They said the proper studies and talks with experts had not been done early close out all other options. They also had concern about moving to quickly to hire any new full time salaried staff, saying it's not sustainable at this time. They don't want to hire them now only to have to let them go in a year or two.

The annual report is an estimate of the township's financial activity over the past year. There was concern about the number of township assistance given out. However, the board passed the report with two yea's and one abstention, with it known that this report can't be audited by the state.

The board asked Teising to commit to coming to future meetings. However she would not commit, saying she thought the meetings were unnecessary and are a waste of financial resources paying legal counsel to be present. She posted the following statement in the zoom comments:

"This meeting is a perfect waste of township resources. Our legal representative is currently on an hourly contract. All of the board's questions could have been sent via email prior to this meeting and limited the expense of the township. But we are focused on the referrals to programs to outside agencies that have no financial impact to the township." Photo below.

The next regular meeting of the Wabash Township Board will be on Tuesday, February 16th. 

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