Recently the Turlock Budget Subcommittee found approximately 4 million dollars in an over-funded city insurance account. In response, Turlock Councilman Ted Howze wrote a blistering editorial flatly accusing city finance staff of hiding millions of dollars in an insurance fund that he said was in “deep financial trouble”. In his editorial to the TurlockCityNews.com Ted declared that he was “on the trail” of the money and that a “pattern of corruption” would not be tolerated “under his watch”. Ted also wrote “If a Fortune 500 company hid it’s sinking employee health fund from it’s board of directors and shareholders by redirecting dollars it claimed to have spent on research and development to the health fund, somebody would go to jail.”
While Ted the ripper was shredding city finance employees for doing exactly what they were instructed to do, Ted denied any involvement. At Tuesday’s council meeting, City Manager Roy Wasden dropped a bombshell by announcing that Ted, along with other council members voted not once, not twice, but three times to transfer funds into the insurance account. Well Ted, by your own declaration shouldn’t you be one of the people going to jail? You voted in favor of it three times. If it’s illegal shouldn’t we be pointing the finger at you, and other council members? Ted arbitrarily drew attention to a situation that according to him is illegal. If it’s illegal to redirect funds, while making it appear as if the money was spent on research, the entire council, including Ted Howze must be held accountable. While Ted may espouse words like “not under his watch”, this not only happened under his watch, he actively participated in it. Either Ted isn’t actually watching, or his own words are yet another example of a why we can not trust Ted Howze. Once again, it’s time for a changing of the guard, as it would certainly appear that the current, self appointed guardian of Turlock is all talk.
I urge Turlock residents to seek a Grand Jury investigation into whether or not redirecting funds while stating that they were spent on research is in fact illegal.
* Editorial Note – TurlockCityNews.com wants to give everyone the opportunity to communicate and we appreciated the participation and letters like this voicing opinions, but there are some points we’d like to note:
Ted Howze, along with other current Council Members did not vote to transfer funds into the insurance account. Those decisions were maden by a previous City Council. It’s not illegal for Council to approve redirecting these funds. The “research” referenced was used in Ted Howze’s analogy, none of the City funds discussed were spent on research.