[Nameplate] Partly Cloudy ~ 54°F  
High: 62°F ~ Low: 56°F
Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Town replaces Truax, fires Guthrie

Saturday, July 10, 2010

CLOVERDALE -- In a special town council meeting Friday night, an interim clerk-treasurer was appointed while the utility manager was terminated effective immediately.

Cathleen Monaco will act as the town's interim clerk-treasurer until the council makes an official appointment for the replacement of Patti Truax, who suddenly resigned from the post July 1. Truax narrowly won the 2007 election against Monaco, defeating her by only seven votes.

Town attorney Allen Yackey described the situation as "awkward," due to Truax never appointing a deputy clerk to perform necessary duties in the absence of the clerk-treasurer.

However, the town had a deputy clerk treasurer until the beginning of 2010. In a December 2009 meeting, the council voted to eliminate the deputy clerk's position from the 2010 salary ordinance.

"That means the position is empty -- literally no one to handle finances including payroll," Yackey said. "We have payroll coming up next week and no one is authorized to sign checks or perform banking duties."

Monaco will assume the position temporarily to help get payroll processed and other necessary financial tasks completed. Yackey stressed the importance of the "new clerk-treasurer to be someone with municipal accounting knowledge and the background necessary for the position.

"This is real work," Yackey said.

The town's new clerk-treasurer will have a mess to clean up once appointed. Tipton said there have been computer hard drive issues, which could mean the new clerk-treasurer would have to "start from scratch." In addition, there have been some bounced checks and an uncertainty about fund balances.

Yackey suggested the town find the funds to hire an accounting firm and Keystone to help Truax's replacement. "The new person needs to know the problems and you need to find the funds for assistance to the new person," he said.

The council will meet at 9 a.m. July 24 at town hall to make an official appointment of clerk-treasurer.

In a motion by council member Terry Puffer, the council voted 3 to 2 to terminate Don Guthrie as utility manager effective immediately. Council members Don Sublett and Larry Fiddler voted against the motion.

"Things are not getting done and I have many unhappy employees right now," said council president Cathy Tipton. "There will be some restructuring in this town."

Rich Saucerman, a longtime utility employee and Cloverdale's water operator for the better part of 12 years, agreed to be the interim utility manager for the next four to six weeks. He will be responsible for general direction of employees until a permanent replacement for Guthrie can be found.

"If you keep status quo, we'll be happy," said Puffer.

Tipton and council member Dennis Padgett stated residents have been complaining about things not getting done and they have had enough.

"Enough is enough," said Padgett.

Tipton said she is "tired of the resistance from employees and it was time to clean house."

She said she would meet with the utility workers Saturday morning to inform them of the changes.

Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on bannergraphic.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

Cathy Monaco is an excellent selection to succeed Truax.

-- Posted by ProblemTransmission on Sat, Jul 10, 2010, at 3:15 AM

I'm starting an office pool to see who can guess the date of the town's total meltdown.

-- Posted by Xgamer on Sat, Jul 10, 2010, at 6:31 AM

Out with the old - in with the new - looks like Cloverdale is finally moving forward!

-- Posted by freebird on Sat, Jul 10, 2010, at 8:16 AM

Thank you Shannen and B-G! I really appreciate the news coverage and reporting. I want to stay informed, but it's not practical nor is there any value for me to attend the town meetings. However, I do like to know what's going on!

I subscribe to the B-G, but love catching the news on-line, too! So timely;)

-- Posted by sassylass on Sat, Jul 10, 2010, at 8:33 AM

Bounced checks and computer hard drive issues. Hmmmmm.............

-- Posted by captain crunch on Sat, Jul 10, 2010, at 9:42 AM

Here we go again....

-- Posted by localman on Sat, Jul 10, 2010, at 10:28 AM

The Town Council should have keep the Deputy Clerk Treasuer and fired the Clerk Treasurer a lone time ago. Do they really think tha Cathleen Monaco is the answer. Wasn't she fired from FB Distro in Greencastle? Now that makes a lot of since.

-- Posted by moo on Sat, Jul 10, 2010, at 10:44 AM

I think Cloverdale should hire an attorney to hire an attorney that can councel the attorney on what steps should be taken to get them out of this awkward situation.

Xgamer, this ones hard to guess, they may be able to lay blame on old personnel for a long time before reality surfaces, you know the old smoke and mirrors saga, some have survived quite a while with that tactic.

freebird, when you shoot a flying duck it usually continues forward but it's still going down.

-- Posted by sadNmad on Sat, Jul 10, 2010, at 11:12 AM

The clerk is financially responsible for the town.

Apparently problems exist within that department (thanks banner for reporting). The town has no choice but to move forward.

-- Posted by captain crunch on Sat, Jul 10, 2010, at 12:48 PM

Just want to give "best wishes" to Patti Truax and thank her for her many years of dedicated service to the Town of Cloverdale. She has been through many town council administrations and each and every one has put her through a lot. I want her to get away from all that and enjoy life. I worked for the TC years ago and they put me through so much: this council member wants it done this way, but the next council member wants it done another way, When I worked across the hall from Patti, she had a headache everyday. Maybe she can get away from the "headaches" and relax. Good job Patti. My motto is "Don't work for the Town of Cloverdale, BE HAPPY".

-- Posted by B4this on Sat, Jul 10, 2010, at 1:43 PM

Sounds like mrs. truax had health issues way back when. Is balancing a checkbook really that difficult? I sure hope the town council investigates those reoccurring problems with the computers in that office.

-- Posted by captain crunch on Sat, Jul 10, 2010, at 4:30 PM

Actually Moo, she wasn't fired from FB Distro. Why don't we give her a fair chance, before we start all the drama? I wish Mrs Truax the best of luck, and I hope this works out for the town!

-- Posted by QueenBee on Sat, Jul 10, 2010, at 5:38 PM

oh i hope they look real hard in the town's books!

-- Posted by gottokno on Sat, Jul 10, 2010, at 8:18 PM

From what I was told this article was published before Mr. Guthrie was told that he was terminated

-- Posted by carcar on Sat, Jul 10, 2010, at 10:05 PM

I believe Cathleen Monaco will do an excellent job if given a chance.

I also believe it is time to get a new computer repair person instead of an X town council person messing with it.

I also believe the town needs to hire a reputable accounting firm to go completely through the town books and not just skim through them.

-- Posted by Old Man on Sun, Jul 11, 2010, at 3:08 AM

Way to get the rumor barrel rolling there Carcar!

I think Miss Monaco will be play vital role in the improvement of Cloverdale. Let's hope that this is not the last step to cleaning this place up!

-- Posted by WTFRUthinkin on Sun, Jul 11, 2010, at 4:11 AM

lmao @ all u that think monaco is a good choice for replacement....why on earth would you put someone that has filed bankruptcy and cant handle their own finaces and put them in charge of the towns money?

-- Posted by justmoveonwillya on Sun, Jul 11, 2010, at 5:30 AM

I don't think my comment was an rumor, Ask your self how Mr. Guthrie was terminate on Saturday morning July 10, 2010 and this artcle came out Saturday morning July 10,2010

-- Posted by carcar on Sun, Jul 11, 2010, at 9:53 AM

Actually the council voted july 9 to terminate his employment.

-- Posted by captain crunch on Sun, Jul 11, 2010, at 10:11 AM

Never you fear Cloverdale, you have the great Yackey whom by his own hands built Avon into what it is today, I'm sure he can do something in your town.......... All you have to do is read the articles from past papers, and you might be able to notice a lot of double talk by several of the council and Yackey. But don't worry, they can hire someone to check into hiring someone, that can make a dicision and convince you that they are doing this all for you, the people of the town.

Your town has always liked to take shots at ones that really cared, and praised the ones that would spit in your face and then say they didn't.

-- Posted by sadNmad on Sun, Jul 11, 2010, at 2:06 PM

I gotta agree with ProblemTrans,freebird,chef,QueenBee,OldMan, and WTFRU, Ms Monaco is the PERFECT replacement for Mrs. Truax. Whether she can do the job is not relevant, but she is the best replacement.

I also agree with sassylass, chef, gottokno, and OldMan, investigate this matter to the very end. Dig up any and all records dating all the way back to the Davitaker regime. Have the attorney check over each and every document and reciept. All this needs to be straightened out before we sell out to a private company. Who would buy such a clusterfunt in this order?

-- Posted by Xgamer on Mon, Jul 12, 2010, at 1:51 PM

To justmoveonwillya: Bankruptcy doesn't necessarily mean one can't handle their own finances. Maybe, just maybe, she had a rough go of it, like oh I don't know, a heart attack and those bills just piled and piled and piled up. Sometimes we all need a fresh start. That's why it's there. So why don't you take your own advice and justmoveon!!

-- Posted by WTFRUthinkin on Tue, Jul 13, 2010, at 1:56 AM

ya kinda funny tho when she was needing her "fresh start" it was quickly after being ordered by a court that she and a few others had to pay some people some money. then all of a sudden, oh im bankrupt, cant pay ya. but hey, the more i think about it, maybe she is the best choice for this position at this time, she'll know how to go about the procedures and give the council advise on how to file bankruptcy when the council runs the town out of money. i stand corrected.

-- Posted by justmoveonwillya on Tue, Jul 13, 2010, at 12:24 PM

sadNmad: "Ms Monaco is the PERFECT replacement for Mrs. Truax. Whether she can do the job is not relevant, but she is the best replacement."

You don't think someone being able to do the job is relevant? Seriously? That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. With that line of thinking, any Joe Blow on the side of the street can practice medicine. Joe Blow is a great man, so what if he has never been to medical school, but he can sure make an effort to perform heart surgery! Love it. Cloverdale residents continue to make themselves look so great in the community with this line of thinking.

By the way, you don't need the attorney or a private accountant to check the books, the State Board of Accounts does that, and has done that for YEARS. Mrs. Truax has always been a straight shooter and the money has always matched. Why don't you check the minutes from all of the years she's been in office and even check all of the audits that the State Board of Accounts has conducted over the years. Oh wait, people of Cloverdale don't like to look at ACTUAL FACTS, they only conduct business based on rumors. Is it because you can't read or don't actually want to know the truth?

Quick question, is it really legal/ethical for the town attorney to show up to town meetings with alcohol on his breath? Oh wait, ethics doesn't exist in Cloverdale any more!

Awesome job Cloverdale, you'll soon need the advice of a woman who had to file bankruptcy because she isn't a responsible person when it comes to money, obligations, and adult responsibilities.

I feel sorry you.

-- Posted by YouCantBSerious on Tue, Jul 13, 2010, at 1:10 PM

YouCantBSerious = = When you respond to someone who has drafted a response, try seeing who wrote it first before picking a name out, but since you picked me out I can respond to yours.

The council chose Ms Monaco to bring balance to the force, and I don't think she is the worst choice they could have made, but if she is like she use to be years ago, it's going to backfire on them because they back her in a corner, Look Out. And YES! Cloverdale does need an attorney to check the books, they need the advise of an attorney to advise their attorney to advise them how to find the books, if they didn't use the attorney, where would they spend their money?. Can't disagree with you on Mrs. Truax but I highly disagree with you on actual facts, do you not count smoke and mirrors as actual facts?, the voters of Cloverdale seem to think it's OK. This could turn into a book so I'll leave you with this. Who wrote it is at the bottom of what was written, I can read and you don't have to feel sorry for me. If you live in Cloverdale, save your sorry for youself, you'll need it.

-- Posted by sadNmad on Tue, Jul 13, 2010, at 3:47 PM

Fact-checks were written by truax and they BOUNCED!

Fact- taxpayers are paying for her mistakes.

Fact- hundreds of dollars in overdraft fees!

Fact-bills have NOT been paid for months!

Fact-clerk treasurer and previous deputy clerk treasurer computers were reported to be hit by lightening, thus wiping out all contents.

Fact-truax hired former council member to work on computer against councils approval.

-- Posted by captain crunch on Tue, Jul 13, 2010, at 11:35 PM

Fact- You got what you wanted, now you and Peter should feel happier.

Fact- You are incredibly smart, you Peter should run for Congress and the Senate after you straighten out Cloverdale.

Fact- You have, and continue to get in all the slams you can to Mrs. Truax and former council members. Your wasting your precious energy, hire a special investigating attorney and do it right.

Fact- The changes made recently are going to make all the problems disappear and we can all thank Kathy, Dennis, Al, Don, Peter, and Doobie for saving Cloverdale from the evil clutches of the tyrannical powers that lurk on Laffeyette Street.

-- Posted by Xgamer on Wed, Jul 14, 2010, at 7:10 AM

the "cook" needs to go run for office in washington as half of his "facts" are false.

-- Posted by justmoveonwillya on Wed, Jul 14, 2010, at 8:37 AM

chef--Last time I checked, rumors are not FACTS. Do you need to look the word up in a dictionary before you use the term correctly or do you want to continue to look ignorant? I've heard ignorance is bliss, but come on, you're making it almost utopian.

Checks have bounced and bills haven't been paid in months? That makes me laugh. If those RUMORS were true, how can the Board not catch that at their meetings? How can the Bank agree with the numbers, or even the State Board of Accounts Audits not show all this mishandling of money? That's because those RUMORS aren't true!!! All these years the town of Cloverdale has voted Mrs. Truax into that position and no one has ever had a problem with her or how she ran that office. But now suddenly she's this crooked person? Your liars, cheats, crooks, and ignorant people are on the Council along with the town's attorney. But I realize that you'll continue to bash the only decent person because you refuse to actually do the leg work and find out for yourself by actually LOOKING and READING official documents that you as a citizen of Cloverdale have access to. They aren't difficult to understand, they are surely at a 5th grade reading level. No one ever wants to know the truth, is it because it's too boring for you or too difficult? How sad, for you, that you actually want to stay ignorant.

-- Posted by YouCantBSerious on Wed, Jul 14, 2010, at 10:48 AM

chef - If your FACTS are so FACTUAL, why hasn't the State Board of Accounts been all over this? Maybe because it's your smoke and mirrors facts that never can be proved because it's bull. The Fact that bills have not been paid for month's?, if you just read past articles it has where the council has refused to approve bills to be paid, so that may be the case on a few but NOT by her doing. Show some class and PROVE YOUR FACTS, just because you wish it to be so and you have some weak minded people that hang on your every word, doesn't make it so.

I didn't realize the clerk and deputy had been ordained by God to rule over the lightning and where it strikes, if that was the case I don't think the computers would have been the targets.

FACT clerk treasurers do not need council approval on who they have maintenance their equipment, they are elected and responsible for vital documents, it is to their best interest to have confidence in who they allow access to detour any possible tampering.

Did some checking of my own and found out that if you rub your finger across Mrs. Truax, she will probably squeak, she checked when she had questions and her audits have been clean.

If the treasurer was ever going to bounce checks or not pay someone, it should have been to the council and the attorney, then they would have received the value of their worth.

-- Posted by sadNmad on Wed, Jul 14, 2010, at 1:57 PM


-- Posted by captain crunch on Wed, Jul 14, 2010, at 3:35 PM

Many respected people have filed bankruptcy and have overcome the stigma that it brings. Just a few to make my point: Thomas Jefferson, Donald Trump, Ulysses S Grant, Charles Goodyear, and P.T. Barnum.

The light shouldn't be shining on what Mrs Monaco has had to do in the past to make it but what she can do with this new chance she's been given. There are reasons we are given second chances, and if you are lucky enough to not need that then I applaud you, but don't look down your nose at those who have had trouble in their past. It makes an ignorant member of society, not a pillar of the community!

-- Posted by WTFRUthinkin on Thu, Jul 15, 2010, at 8:02 PM

Not seen much on here about Mr. Guthrie. Did they actually fire him on Friday night and not inform him of it till Saturday, was he even informed that it may be possible he would be terminated at that meeting? Just the Facts Please..............If that is true, I think there has been a new discovery lower than whale poop.

-- Posted by sadNmad on Fri, Jul 16, 2010, at 3:13 AM

Many people have had to file bankruptcy, and it is there as a safety net for when people fall on hard times. Too bad many people abuse such safety net, such as Ms. Monaco. She wasn't someone who had such issues, it was her way of escaping paying agreed fees to a lawsuit she was a part of and LOST. She wasn't being sued, she was a part of a group who filed the suit. Maybe someone (who had her best interest in mind) should have informed her that when you take on such actions, perhaps you should actually be able to follow through if things don't go the way you originally hoped. I'm sure she would have had issues if she was being sued by someone and they filed bankruptcy immediately following the Court's decision against her, leaving the innocent to pay for something they weren't legally, or rightfully, responsible for.

Maybe you're right, maybe we shouldn't look down our noses at someone who escapes obligations and responsibilities the unethical way.

-- Posted by YouCantBSerious on Fri, Jul 16, 2010, at 9:40 AM

sadNmad Mr Guthrie had the day off Friday July 9,

and the TC had a meeting on July 9 and terminated him. If he had gone out of town as planned he would not of known about his termination till Monday morning July 12,

-- Posted by carcar on Fri, Jul 16, 2010, at 10:52 AM

Thanks Patti! You have done a great job. Sad to see you go.

-- Posted by clovertrueviews on Fri, Jul 16, 2010, at 10:55 AM

Very sad, no matter how they felt about Mr. Guthrie, an honest and dignified council would have informed him of the possible situation.

-- Posted by sadNmad on Fri, Jul 16, 2010, at 1:12 PM

Cloverdale kills me. You folks are sitting on a damn goldmine & you just don't realize it, or you just don't care.

For those of you who travel, take a look along our nations interstates & see how much potential is lost in Cloverdale. It could be a huge warehouse/shipping/industrial stronghold that could help the whole county. When I see the Midway Motel area, I immediately think of Imminent Domain. Put that land to work.

Overall...just quit bitching amongst yourselves & do something about it. Period.

-- Posted by ProblemTransmission on Sun, Jul 18, 2010, at 4:22 AM

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: