As a registered voter, I am disgusted by the actions of the Decatur Township cemetery board in the discharging of Mr. Lynn Dixon. They stated budget cuts were the cause. Figures presented at the annual township meeting contradict that statement because the township will begin the fiscal year with a $4.05 million balance, up from $3.69 million at this time last year (as reported in the April 11 H&R). They could not or would not proved any cost savings by eliminating this position and creating another job of a working foreman.
One facet of Mr. Dixon's job is to open and close the cemetery every day. Now the board will need to pay someone overtime twice a day, every day, to do this. A mechanical system would be costly to install as well as the maintenance of the automation or malfunctions. Is this cost saving?
The township board appointed the cemetery board and provided for no one to monitor their actions. One example is funds donated for specific project, the columbarium. These funds have been put into a general fund that may be used at their discretion instead of the purpose for which patrons donated the money.
Mr. Dixon's dismissal seems to be the result of discrimination, nepotism, or prejudice. This means that we have lost a loyal and dedicated worker and now will have an unemployed and homeless Decatur citizen. He has lost his salary, benefits, and the dwelling that was a part of his initial hiring. The township board should take actions to rectify the situation caused when they allowed the cemetery board to have complete control of the cemeteries and employees. The taxpayers and voters will be watching.
Luella Paddock, Decatur