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The Controversy over Bar Accountability in Cromwell

by Marvin PIRILA

 

Managers are hired to manage their respective employees and day-to-day operations, while a city council exists to oversee the broader operations.  The council establishes policies, whereas employees/managers are expected to follow them.  When these boundaries are crossed, problems are inevitable.  This has become the case in Cromwell.

 

Recently, bar manager Paul Lampii [Hired in March 2010] was demoted to bartender and had his pay slashed in the process.  Mr. Lampii chose to resign after a few days as bartender.  A city council generally has the power to demote or terminate managers with or without cause.  That being said, there must be "cause" to warrant the charge or future managers will not know what is truly expected of them.  If you are going to hold someone responsible for a specific action, do not, as the policy maker, violate the same policy.

 

Internal Controls - Discussions & Actions

 

Who in Cromwell is running the bar, the mayor/council or the bar manager?  Mayor Clark routinely interferes with the inner workings of the bar under the guise of "internal control" policies. 

 

A look at the minutes show the micromanagement of the bar, far exceeding that of normal oversight. 

 

"Discussion on payment of drinks at the time of order. Lampi stated he feels that at times a customer shouldn't have to wait and a bartender can fill more than one drink order before collecting payment; people don't like to wait and customer service is important. Mayor Clark stated it is an internal control issue and should be required- this is a very common expectation in the bar business...Discussion on bartenders converting tips into larger denomination bills out of the cash register.  Lampi stated sometimes the bar is in need of smaller change so this is necessary and they should be trusted to do this as they are in the cash register all the time anyway.  Mayor Clark stated this is another internal control item."  [Regular Meeting Minutes, 2/20/13]

 

"Internal Controls -Lampi stated that he has discussed with the bartenders about cashing in tips as stated in the new policy manual as well as the importance of keeping accurate inventory. -Mayor Clark presented internal control ideas. A committee will be formed to determine internal controls and present this at a future meeting. Committee members will be Lampi, Peters, Mayor Clark, and Clerk Clark."  [3/27/13]  By his own admission, Mayor Clark is talking about "internal controls" that have yet to be determined.  However, he took it upon himself in the previous meeting to argue what were internal controls in his opinion.

 

"Lund presented a document to the Council from the Mayor’s Association website and stated that there is a law that mayors have no authority to supervise or investigate city staff. Lund accused Mayor Clark of violating this law and that he has taken action without council approval. Lund stated that only the council as a whole should be supervising city staff, that it is not a good idea to have just one member doing this. Warren Peters questioned how city staff would handle questions or issues throughout the month if they are unable to go to the Mayor for guidance and stated we would need to have weekly meetings if this were the case. Lund further stated she would like Mayor Clark be removed from the internal controls committee. Mayor Clark stated that what Lund presented was not a law but something from the Mayor’s handbook. He stated that he has not done anything or given discipline that had not been discussed with the council first. Discussion on what internal controls are- inventory, cash controls, and data integrity; it has nothing to do with security cameras. No motion to remove Mayor Clark from internal controls. Lund asked that Paul Lampi be the one to review video footage and everyone agreed; this will be discussed with the city attorney. Ray Lally would like a meeting with the city attorney and city auditor. Lund asked Mayor Clark to apologize to Paul Lampi."  [5/15/13]

 

Councilor Lisa Lund expresses a very important point.  Cromwell is established as a Statutory-[A] city with a weak mayor-council.  Pursuant to the same, "administrative as well as legislative authority is the ultimate responsibility of the council as a whole.The mayor’s powers in the weak mayor-council system are no greater than those of other members of the council, except that the mayor is the presiding officer at council meetings and has a few other legal and ceremonial responsibilities listed below. The weak mayor has no extraordinary power to individually make administrative decisions for the city." 

"Lund pointed out that there was never a motion to create the internal controls committee. Clerk Clark pointed out that the committee has since been dissolved."  [6/19/13]. If this is interpreted correctly, an internal controls committee was formed without a motion and dissolved thereafter - illegally started and then dissolved without the knowledge of at least one city councilor.

 

A Bizarre Definition of Overseer and Bar Manager

 

The Regular Council Meeting minutes from June 27, 2012 stated, "There was discussion about Paul Lampi’s title and it was clarified that the Council as a whole is the Bar Manager and that Paul’s role is that of Overseer."  Emphasis added.  "Motion by Mayor Clark seconded by Ray Lally to direct the Overseer to be more proactive in doing promotions and specials.  Motion carried unanimously."  Wouldn't that be the role of the bar manager [now defined as the city council]?  By definition, an overseer is "a person who supervises others, especially workers."  The overseer and bar manager of the bar is truly just one person, the bar manager - they both supervise employees and are active in promotions and specials.  The overseer of the bar "as a whole" is the council who directs their concerns to the bar manager.  How do you assign accountability to a board of managers, all acting independently at times?

 

"Motion by Lisa Lund, seconded by Ray Lally to call Paul Lampi the Bar Manager and not Bar Overseer. Three yea votes (Lund, Lally, and Peters) and one nay vote (Clark). Motion carries."  [6/19/14]

 

This issue first surfaced in the special meeting held January 10, 2011 [Mayor Clarks very first meeting as mayor].  The minutes show, "Nancy [Graham] brought up some Liquor store policies that should be revisited and updated or eliminated. Specifically the cash control policy. Mayor Clark stated that the Liquor store being an operations-based business different from the general city should have a separate policy handbook. The general policies would also apply to liquor store along with other specific policies. The Council asked the clerk if the cash control policy was currently being followed at the liquor store and he indicated that it was not. In order for it to be followed properly, each bartender would need to have their own drawer, count it when they come in, and count it again before they leave. This is not the way they are doing it right now."  [Underlining added]

 

This special meeting also included the verbage: "Dick Huhta [former long-term mayor] said he thought the council should be included in the policies and should have assigned roles...Nancy Graham stated that the policies of the city should apply to the council members as well as the employees. Mayor Clark said the employee policies did not apply to the council. Nancy Graham said the code of conduct would apply to the councilors." Emphasis added.

 

"Butch Levinski- Asked why the council is “harassing” the bar manager. Mayor Clark stated the Council is responsible to the citizens of Cromwell to ensure the bar is run properly. He further stated the bar manager’s job description states they will take direction from the Mayor and the Council. It was reaffirmed by unanimous motion in a previous meeting that the Mayor does indeed have power to direct the bar manager. Lund stated this was not how she understood it."  [Regular Meeting Minutes, 5/15/14].  It would appear the "council" not the mayor had the power to direct the bar manager.

 

Bar Visits in Off Hours

 

There are claims that Mayor Sam Clark has frequently been seen at the bar after closing in the early morning hours.  No one knows why and his presence has been undocumented.  Shouldn't there be a sign-in sheet or other means of accountability for persons that shouldn't be there?  If there is a good reason, it should be simple to justify.

 

"Lisa Lund stated, in her opinion, that the only person who should have keys to the bar be the bar manager, bartenders, and cleaning people. Discussion on someone from the city having a key. No action taken."  [6/19/13]  Why weren't any other councilors questioning these entries and the possession of the keys by the mayor?

 

"Mayor Clark stated he will leave  his bar key at the city office and will have a sign-out sheet. Someone besides bar employees should have a key to the building...Mayor Clark also stated that the city cannot allow bar patrons to dictate how the bar is managed. The city has a responsibility to the citizens to run a safe and profitable business. The mission of a municipal liquor store is for liquor control. He has not heard any complaints from any citizens regarding the bar."  [6/19/13].  How can there be "liquor control" in the true sense when there isn't even control of access to the bar?

 

The Point of Sale System (P.O.S.)

 

There are numerous questions regarding councilman Warren Peter's role with the Point of Sale (P.O.S.) system.  Was this system purchased from him?  Mayor Clark's comments at the 3/17/13 meeting would suggest he bought a P.O.S. with the intent of reselling it to the city.  Was the software purchased from Mr. Peters?  Does he get paid for maintaining the system?  Why are he, Mayor Clark, or other sitting city councilors touching the system?   How can you possible argue that bar managers are improperly keeping inventory or are accountable for internal controls, when you. as a city councilor, troubleshoot and/or maintain the same system?  Controls include a separation of duties, and limiting the hands accounting for money.  Ultimately, no accountability to specific personnel truly exists in this matter, and ethical concerns arise.

 

At the Regular Council Meeting on January 25, 2012, the minutes reflected that "Warren talked about the new POS system. It is up and running and he is working out some bugs.  It seems to be working well for it purpose."

 

The minutes of 9/26/12 included:  "POS System discrepancies.  Inventory an issue: items created and not coded correctly and not accounted for Off sale items need to be scanned.  Warren [Peters], Jenny [wife of mayor], Paul [Lampii], and Sam [Clark] will meet to discuss and correct."  So, we have councilman Warren Peters troubleshooting the system, along with the mayor who visits the bar after hours for unknown reasons.  Mr. Paul Lampii, bar manager at the time, admits to knowing little about the P.O.S. system other than its use to track inventory and sales.  Mayor Clark is knowledgeable about computer systems, and may have been of assistance.  The problem again is accountability.  If this system was purchased from another dealer, why wasn't he or she called to fix the problem?

Let's not forget that Jenny Clark, the wife of Mayor Sam Clark, was also the secretary/treasurer.  Another internal control establishing a separation between the register and the bank was compromised.  As of the Regular Council Meeting

January 23, 2013, Register Control was assigned to Jenny Clark, Warren Peters, Sam Clark.  Prior to this time, Register Control was assigned to Scott Warner, Warren Peters, and Sam Clark [1/25/12].  The two individuals routinely assigned to register control are mayor Clark and councilor Warren Peters.  Shouldn't "register control" mean ensuring money and inventory controls are present, verified periodically by independent, non-vested individuals proficient in auditing and inventory?  There should be no "hands on" of the register or accompanying software by the mayor or city councilors.  Mr. Peters is an expert at the P.O.S. system and could simply instruct the bar manager on the proper operation of the equipment.  Training should have been provided at installation, but nothing "hands on" thereafter when inventory or money was involved.

 

"POS System / DVR / Shelving from EDA -The Carlton County EDA had equipment available for bid- POS system, security system, 3 computers, 2 touch screen monitors, and shelving. Mayor Clark put in a bid of $350.00 and won the bid."  [3/17/13]  No minutes thereafter explain if the council purchased the system from the mayor.

 

"Peters addressed a statement made by Lampi in an email regarding the POS system at the bar as well as statements made by bar patrons- he stated that he does not mess” with the POS system and would never mess with data accuracy or integrity. Lampi stated that he simply meant that the computer has been messed with and doesn't know why the reports are not adding up. Peters said he has only worked on the bar computer when there have been questions or issues with the POS system. Lampi stated he does not have a lot of computer knowledge and has appreciated the help with the POS system but that Peters does not have the right to go behind the bar. He further stated he does not have the answer why the daily reports are not correct but will try to figure out the problem."  [5/15/13]  The mere appearance of a councilor working on a system accountable to another [bar manager in this case] poses the ethical question, particularly when a case for discipline is argued.

 

The July 24, 2013 meeting [Item 6, Liquor Store] again addressed inventory and P.O.S. concerns:  "...2. Inventory should not be off...5. Make sure drinks are rung in properly, till shouldn’t be over/short."

 

True accountability and controls would limit the persons having access to the P.O.S. and the bar.

 

Inconsistent Policy

 

During the Regular Council Meeting on September 26, 2012, there was a motion by Warren Peters to give verbal warning to bar manager to enforce the ‘no drinks outside the bar policy’, seconded by Tom Borglund. Motion carried unanimously.  Missing from the minutes was the basis by which drinks were witnessed outside.  Was it by eyewitnesses or reviewing video?

 

Following a snow storm, when no one else could make it in immediately, Mayor Clark managed the bar.  During that time he is said to have entered the safe (how?) and had given drinks to go.  Nothing was said by the council.  Practical rules demand consistency, separation of powers, and accountability.  If you are going to form policy, you should be modeling its meaning.  When asked to review the video tape of the bar, it was said that it wasn't working.  No one seems to know another occasion when the system inexplicably quit working.

 

Mayor Clarks actions did not miss the attention of bar patrons who brought their concerns to the council on May 15, 2014.  These included:

 

"Dan Karppinen- Asked about someone being in the bar at 3:00 am and if anyone served customers and let them take out a plastic cup. Mayor Clark stated he did serve customers on the morning of the snow storm when no bar employees could make it to the bar to open and that he did serve drinks in plastic cups but is unaware if they left with them. Dan felt it unfair that the bar manager is being blamed for things the bartenders are doing. Multiple people present as well as councilperson Lund accused Mayor Clark of slandering or badgering Lampi for months."

 

"Lori Shelton- Submitted a complaint form and questioned policies and procedures. She asked why someone who is not an employee of the bar was bartending and if this is illegal. Frank stated that an elected official is not subject to the same repercussions or discipline as an employee. He further stated if someone is unsatisfied with any elected officials, to vote for a new candidate at the next election; Public officials serve at the behest of the voters. Lisa Lund asked Frank to look into the legality of a board member serving behind the bar and he said he would. Frank again stated you cannot compare the discipline given to an employee to that of a board member" [6/19/13].

 

"Dale Heikkala- Stated that if a board member is going to be acting as a bartender, they need to have proper training. He also stated that all of this is creating a hostile work environment and is not right.

 

Michael Heaser- Whoever is working behind the bar should be reporting to someone and have supervision.

 

Jeff Swatek- Asked who spends money in the bar and who the customers are. Multiple people stated they should have a voice whether they are voters or not.

 

Dick Huhta- Stated he does not have and has never had a key for the Municipal Liquor Store. He has never had a key and has not ever entered the bar without the manager there. Dick also stated that when Paul Lampi was hired he was told to come to the Mayor’s office to work things out if there were ever any issues."

 

Under "Old Business" addressed in the July 24, 2103, council meeting:  "C. Legality of board member serving at the bar.

 

Frank Yetka City Attorney looked into it and determined that it was not illegal. Bar manager Paul Lampi questioned why elected officials are not subject to discipline the same as employees are? Lampi asked why elected officials are not held responsible for serving to go cups when he as the manager was? Frank explained that as an employee you are responsible to the city council and the council may discipline it’s employees. He also explained that Paul wasn’t disciplined for serving in to go cups but for failing to enforce city policy."

 

Mr. Yetka's claims are valid.  Generally, statutory elected officials may not be removed before the end of their terms, for cause of otherwise.  Statutory city voters also have no recall authority.  A mayor may resign during his or her term [2013 Minn. Stat. 351.02 (2)].  The true shame in Cromwell is that other than councilor Lisa Lund, the other councilors have done nothing to reign in the questionable actions of mayor Clark.

 

The Question of Ethics

 

A regular meeting of the City Council on June 22, 2011, involved a "discussion on a new POS system and a video system for the liquor store.   Motion by Jerry Graham and seconded by Ray Lally to approve purchase of new POS system. Motion carried unanimously."  The minutes thereafter does not show who it was bought from, where, and for what amount?  A data request was made by the Floodwood Forum for these answers on July 2, 2014 and received a letter back requesting the completion of the office "Data Request Form" from the city.  This was completed and faxed to them on 7/15/14 and yet no response has been received.  Thus far, no answers have been provided.

 

The September 26, 2012, meeting authorized the "purchase of cooler from Peter’s Home and Hardware for $1,975.00."  Mayor Clark made the motion to approve the purchase of cooler, seconded by Ray Lally. Motion carried unanimously with the exception of Warren Peters who abstained from the vote.  The fact that Mr. Peters abstained from the vote made it apparent that it was a prohibited, unethical purchase by the council from a sitting councilman.

 

The Office of the State Auditor (OSA) announced its findings on June 25, 2013.  "Based upon its review, the OSA found that the City did not follow proper procedures when hiring the Mayor's spouse [Jenny Clark] as the City's Clerk/Treasurer or when purchasing an item from a business owned by a City Council Member [Warren Peters].

 

Video System in Bar

 

The meeting on June 19, 2010, included a motion by Ray Lally, seconded by Lisa Lund, to purchase a video system for liquor store and have it installed with the assistance of Warren Peters. The motion carried unanimously.  Once again, the installation should not have involved a city councilor, particularly when it involves the filming of patrons and employees.  This can be delicate footage and must be properly accounted for.  In fact, it is usually reviewed only when problems have emerged, kept for short durations, and then destroyed.  When improperly viewed or used, it can be destructive to the business and community at large.

 

"Paul [Lampii] mentioned that there has been talk about installing a security camera at the liquor store for security. He is worried that some people will not come in if a camera is on. Scott [Warner] said the system in the hardware store [what Hardware Store?] was about $600.00 and would work well for  us. He also said we would not be viewing every minute of footage, but rather viewing it if there was cause to do so. The system would keep 30 days of video in memory. Scott said it would be a plus for our insurance company also and may reduce our insurance. Mayor Clark said we should have a very clear policy on the use of the footage if we install one and let the customers know that policy."  Emphasis added.  Is there a clear policy and is it kept for only 30 days?  There have been reports of councilors making reference to footage, without appropriate cause.  There must be accountability, and footage should be viewed by at least two councilors simultaneously, who will sign a sheet stating the purposes of such a review.

 

"Debbie Huhta- Accused the council of watching them and harassing them. Multiple people commented on a member or members of the council watching when they come and go."  [5/15/14] "Peters addressed earlier comments made and stated that he does not watch the bar or the patrons."  Comments made by some councilors would suggest otherwise.

 

"Video review policy reviewed. Frank has had an opportunity to review this and stated it looks good and would be a good idea to implement. ..Even though the cable was not hooked to wi-fi, the wi-fi has since been removed from the bar to alleviate any concern from the customers...A sign should be put up at the bar alerting bar patrons to the presence of video cameras and will state that the premise is under 24 hour surveillance for public safety and security."  [6/19/13].  Customers again questioned the purpose of the video system during the council meeting on July 24, 2013.

 

"Video Review Policy.  Motion made by Clark, seconded by Peters to approve the Security Camera Policy. Yeas: Borglund, Peters, Lally, Clark Nays: Lund Motion carried."  [10/23/13]

Mayor's Wife Hired as Clerk/Treasurer

The August 22, 2012, minutes included "Pay request for doing clerk job.  Motion by Tom Borglund to approve request for payment to Sam, seconded by Ray Lally.  Motion carried unanimously with the exception of Sam who abstained from the vote."  Note that it was Mayor Clark getting paid for performing clerk duties.  Again, no separation of duties as required for accountability.

 

"Motion by Mayor Clark to have himself and Lisa Lund review applications and forward the qualified applications [Emphasis added] to Jess Rich and Frank Yetka who will select candidates for interviews will conduct interviews and determine the most qualified candidate seconded by Ray Lally motion carried unanimously." [6/27/12]  Summarizing, Mayor Clark made the motion to have himself appointed to the review of the applicants for a position for which he knew his wife was applying.

 

The Regular Council Meeting on July 30, 2012, showed in the the minutes:  "Top two candidates: Jenny Clark scored 89 out of 100 points ; Dave Chambers scored 80.5 out of 100 points. Jess [Rich] and Frank [Yetka] agreed Jenny is most qualified. Discussion on top two candidates and potential conflicts of interest. Motion by Warren Peters to hire Jenny Clark as new Clerk/Treasurer, seconded by Ray Lally. Motion carried unanimously with the exception of Mayor Clark who abstained from vote."  Again, the act of abstaining was evidence of a conflict.  Frank Yetka, city attorney, should have advised the council of the same.

"...Approval of Jenny Clark Payroll for July[.]  City clerk e-mailed attorney Frank Yetka in regard to paying Jenny Clark for services rendered after her resignation date of July 12. On July 8 Jenny sent out an e-mail to all council members and Mayor Clark informing them that she would be willing to come in to do payroll on July 16. She was also willing to come in to do the reporting of sales tax, 941’s, MN withholding, and PERA. Attorney Yetka responded, “Please indicate to the Council that I recommend that Jenny be paid for the work she did for the city.” Motion made by Peters, seconded by Lally to approve paying Jenny Clark’s wage of $130.22. Yeas: Peters, Lally, Borglund Nays: Lund; Motion carried."  [10/23/13].  Why was a clerk [Clark] allowed to do any work after the city was cited by the OSA for the same?  This was a continuation of the ethics violations.

 

"Lund questioned Jenny Clark receiving wages past her resignation date and that this was not approved by the council. Mayor Clark stated that someone had to come in to do the tax reporting and she did the absolute bare minimum. Lund stated that she thought Angela Anderson was going to be coming in to do that. Clark stated that Angela did the payroll but could not do some of the other paperwork.

 

Lund made a motion to approve the general ledger for August except for Jenny Clark’s wages of $130.22. Seconded by Borglund. Motion carried unanimously.

Motion made by Borglund to approve Jenny Clark’s wage of $130.22. Motion failed for lack of second."  [9/13/13]

 

Cromwell Depends on the Bar Money to pay Bills and keep Taxes Low

 

"The 2009 Audit was presented to the council by Hugh Heinecke. He mentioned that the margin for the liquor store was better than prior years. Profitability was
way up. $80,000 was transferred to general fund."  [6/16/12]

 

"Discussion on transferring money from liquor fund to general fund. Mayor Clark recommended transferring $80,000. Each year $50,000 is transferred, with an additional $30,000 this year to cover the new maintenance/city truck.

 

Motion made by Lally to approve transferring $80,000 from the liquor fund to the general fund, seconded by Borglund. Motion carried unanimously." [12/18/13]

If it weren't for the stellar financial performance of the municipal liquor store, property taxes would be significantly higher.

 

Behaviorial Correction or Vendetta against Former Bar Manager

 

"Discussion on Lampi not following direction to check an applicant’s references as well as failing to speak to all the bartenders in a timely manner in regard to the incident of February 1st...Discussion on the job description for the bar manager stating that a person in this position must take orders from the Council or the Mayor [Technically, from the Council]. Some form of supervision is needed throughout the month.. Discussion on performing inventory checks. The Council agrees that quarterly audits/inventory checks should be performed and agreed Mayor Clark should be the one to do them. [Mayor Clark should not be performing the audits]   Motion by Sam Clark, seconded by Warren Peters to give Paul Lampi a written warning for not checking an applicant’s references as directed as well as failing to speak to all the bartenders regarding the stated incident. Motion carried unanimously.

 

Motion by Warren Peters, seconded by Tom Borglund to reaffirm Mayor Clark’s authority to direct Lampi to follow Council directives and established policies. Motion carried unanimously."  [2/20/13].  [As individuals, councilors have no administrative authority.  They cannot give orders or otherwise supervise city employees unless specifically directed to do so by the council.  The key words are "to follow Council directives and established policies."  These are administrative affairs and not direct supervision as suggested by Mayor Clark. The council has complete authority over all administrative affairs.]

"All bartenders signed the new policy manual; discussed inventory issues; new glassware; overfilling of cooler sleeves; upcoming events; promos rung up properly; -Lampi discussed/addressed his written warning (32 min.)."  [3/27/14]  Later in meeting, "Meetings with Lampi have been held on Tuesdays to discuss items to be worked on. Some of the items from the evaluation and these meetings have been addressed but not all of them." [Mayor Clark]

"Discussion on the status of action items and evaluation items given to Paul Lampi.  Motion by Mayor Clark, seconded by Tom Borglund to give Bar Manager Paul Lampi a one day unpaid suspension for not completing tasks as directed by the Council and Mayor in a timely manner. Motion carried unanimously." [4/17/13]

 

"Lampi questioned the email he received from the City Clerk [Jenny Clark] on July 6th stating the council’s decision to have him complete bartender interviews with the city clerk at the city office the week of July 8th. He stated that he disagreed with the decision since the city clerk didn’t have a vested interest since she would be leaving soon. Mayor Clark stated that this is what the council wanted done and he should have done it."  [7/24/13]

 

"Mayor Clark asked Yetka what the council should do when an employee refuses to follow a direct council motion? The council can discipline him for lack of performance, the council would need to agree that discipline was warranted and then decide on discipline. Lampi asked why the Mayor is trying to get rid of him? Clark stated that he is not trying to get rid of him but trying to get him to do his job..."  [7/24/13]  Isn't his job that of trying to maximize revenue, minimize costs, and following established internal controls to protect against loss.  These protections including regular inventory and annual auditing - neither of which should be done by the council or mayor.

 

Concluding Results

 

From his first session and ongoing since, Mayor Clark has routinely fixed a large portion of his time on the finer details of the bar operation.  Rather than allowing the bar manager to perform his respective duties (hire, fire, promote, and manage inventory), the mayor and certain council members have routinely intervened.

 

During this time, inventory has been a minor issue with little or no inventory disappearing.  Yet, certain individuals on the council and the mayor make it the key point of their meetings routinely.  Set policy and let the managers of each department do their jobs.  Under the current leadership, the management of the bar has become toxic.

 

As one of the top performing bars in the state, why is there such a concern about the smallest of details.

 

Sure, there is the responsibility of ensuring internal controls are followed, but there must be separation of duties between those that might be accused [bar manager] of wrongdoing and those doing the accusing [council and mayor].  When the bar has the multiple hands of the city council/mayor on the P.O.S. systems, some behind the bar, and the mayor making unauthorized, secret entries to the bar, the legitimacy of any claims of wrongdoing is moot.  Who is to say who is responsible when hands from all over are messing with things.

 

The video system to this point has done more harm than good as few people trust the council and mayor to use it with good intentions.

As a small community, trust is everything, and when it's gone, who will replace the regulars from visiting the bar?  And given the enormous tax break it offers the residents, there will be sticker shock when property taxes have to make up for any losses the bar incurs.

 

After everything that has transpired, Mayor Sam Clark even challenged Mr. Lampi's request for unemployment and lost.

 

The fact that things worked much smoother under former Mayor Huhta suggests the changes that were brought with a new mayor have been largely setbacks.

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