Six hundred and forty-three thousand. That’s more than half a million.
And those are more than enough reasons that two longtime incumbents on the board of the Inter-Canyon Fire Protection District should be challenged aggressively in this May’s election.
Zero is another number of note in this disturbing saga: That’s the number of non-incumbents who had filed to run, as of Tuesday, for the four board seats up for election.
A few more numbers: Over just three years, on average, a quarter of the Morrison-based fire district’s annual budget disappeared. Former fire chief David MacBean is facing six theft and embezzlement charges related to a staggering $643,000 in misspent and missing funds.
District residents are, or should be, seeing red, because that was precisely the color of the district’s bottom line for five years under the stewardship of Joseph Marcus and Michael Reddy (also Ralph Dreher, who is not up for election in May).
In three years of board-meeting minutes, there was no mention of the overspending, even though internal audits showed overruns. No receipts were requested for vague purchases with PayPal and Amazon. Guns and ammo were bought at a local store with district funds.
And nobody noticed.
Board members elected to run the district and safeguard its residents’ tax dollars appear to have had not the slightest inkling that a fiscal cataclysm was taking place on their watch.
And that is simply indefensible.
It will also be a very difficult situation to defend if no one files to run against the incumbents before Friday’s deadline. Inter-Canyon residents should certainly know by now what happens when no one is watching a local government. The results can be disastrous, and this is a financial disaster of the first order.
We need more candidates in this election. It is the only way district residents will get more accountability from their board.