September 6 – Quincy Township has been a mess for a while, but the people are standing up to have their voices be heard.
For background, in the spring of 2021 the township had an FBI investigation of a supervisor for misusing funds. Then in December of that same year, the supervisor under investigation committed suicide.
Since then, there have been new supervisors in place, but recently two of the supervisors – Steve Bakner and Lee Daywalt – resigned, leaving only Alan Peck on the board.
In addition, at a recent special meeting, a whole host of staff members resigned.
Then it looked like some discrepancies with money showed up again.
Since then, Supervisor Daywalt has rescinded his resignation.
Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “When I’m on the air saying get involved or get used to it, in Quincy Township, it was practically standing room only. Enough citizens in Quincy Township said, you know what’s going on out here? I want to know what’s happening with our supervisors. I want to know what’s happening moving forward. I understand there’s some money that is not in the cash register that should have been in the cash register. Let’s hear what’s happening there.”
Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM reminded, “There was this guy named Kerry Bumbaugh, who was a supervisor there. I think he started in 1990, if I’m right about that. He was in there forever. He was under indictment from the federal government, grand jury for theft and there was a big scandal. He killed himself before he could go to trial. So what we see in this township and I’ve witnessed it over the years. There seems to be two camps within the township, people who were on sort of the Kerry Bumbaugh side of it where he wasn’t that bad of a guy, we don’t want to believe these charges about him or I believe the charges about him and we do think he was not a great guy. It’s like the township has divided on that line. Like we normally have Republicans versus Democrats and the rest of the country politically, we have the Kerry Bumbaugh camp versus the non-Kerry Bumbaugh camp in Quincy Township and the two will not meet. It’s like anybody who supported Kerry Bumbaugh will not agree with anybody who didn’t support Kerry Bumbaugh and that was on display last night, when they were trying to say for a resignation by one of the supervisors who should replace him? Somebody suggested Ed Wilson, there was a lot of cheering and booing from the audience. One of the supervisors, Mr. Daywalt made a derisive comment about he’d rather work with the devil. It would be like working with the devil to work with him. He was a supervisor who testified against Kerry Bumbaugh in the investigation. So the pro-Kerry Bumbaugh people do not like him.”
Current Quincy Township Supervisor Alan Peck suggested enlisting the person who was elected in the primary to fill the vacant seat.
Jansen said, “The citizens have already demonstrated that they think he would be a good supervisor. He could step into the Steve Bakner seat until the end of the year.”
Bakner is the supervisor that resigned recently.
Jansen continued, “Lee Daywalt, who is the guy who would not agree to this, was of course who Nelson beat out in the primary. So Mr. Daywalt did not really give a sufficient answer as to why he wouldn’t agree to Nelson Egolf stepping in. It was not exactly the most professional discussion. I think you sense that, at least I think a reasonable person would suggest he’s not gotten over the primary election. He just can’t bear to have the person that beat him, despite the fact he got 60 to 70 percent of the vote, to step into that seat. So he wants to open it to a bunch of resumes with of course Alan did agree to because what else is he going to do when the other supervisor will not?”
Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “I watched some of that meeting. I thought some of the citizens at the end that got on the floor were presenting some very valid questions and points. What do we do if there’s a tree down? What if there’s a water leak? What’s the tax collector supposed to do with taxes that are coming in, in the context of there’s no one working there now? What’s the number we’re supposed to call? The supervisors did not answer that, but yet they clearly were taking that information and I think we’ll respond accordingly to those sort of things. This is how the sausage gets made, so to speak. You see a bunch of people show up. They got on their feet. They were basically civil. Some of them had very heated opinions, but they let that be known to the board and that’s how the process works. The unfortunate thing about this vacancy and what you described there exactly states what happened, they’re probably going to run out of time here because if the resumes get submitted over the next few weeks, let’s say they then move to fill the vacancy in October. The appointment would only be good through the end of the year. So even if they do select someone other than Mr. Egolf, the person might serve maybe eight weeks and I just wonder if that’s where this thing goes. Do they just run out the clock? They’ll never get the two votes needed anyway to fill the position.”
Jansen said, “I think some township members who maybe weren’t there or maybe just hearing about this, they’d be a little bit disappointed though. There wasn’t a lot of cooperation to try to handle this strange situation of so many people quitting. There’s three titles, positions that have to be filled, I guess by law, the Right to Know Officer, the Roadmaster and the Secretary Treasurer. Instead of dividing up those tasks among the employees, all of the employees besides the supervisors refused any of them, where it seems like there’s somebody there that could have taken the Roadmaster position a lot more sanely than either of the supervisors. Lee Daywalt only took the Right to Know position which really doesn’t involve much work at all. He would not take on one of the two heavier lifting roles of Roadmaster or Secretary Treasurer, which Mr. Peck has to take both of those roles now. I see this sort of again, the camp versus the other camp, childish unacceptance of shared responsibilities here. It’s too bad that Quincy Township has got to be putting up with this.”
Ryan said, “This also backfires in Daywalt’s face, alright, you want to do resumes, then let’s just run out the clock, fine.”
Barkdoll noted, “By the way the county Republican committee meets tonight. They will nominate someone that would appear on the ballot to fill this vacant position from an electoral standpoint. The Democratic committee will do the same thing next week. So there will be some names that emerge that will fill this vacant seat eventually, but in the meantime, the supervisors could appoint someone to fill out the term. I’m just doubtful what’s even going to happen.”