New Bloomfield Police
NEW BLOOMFIELD - Some people in New Bloomfield went before the City Council Thursday night to say they're worried about the town's budget, and especially why there's no money for a police department.
The only officer was let go last month for violating media policy. The town decided not to replace him, but to let Callaway County deputies cover the area instead, when they can.
The founder of the Facebook group Concerned Citizens for the City of New Bloomfield said the top priority now is bringing attention to the fact that the town does not have the money to employ its own police department.
Cheri Wilson said, "The main issue at hand is that the city doesn't have enough money to fund a police department for us, but they have money to fund $120,000 in salaries for 2 individuals," Wilson said. This is in reference to the superintendent salary and the city clerk's salary that increased."
Another issue before the City Council Thursday night was the town's annual audit.
“The mayor’s audit is always done by the same firm every year. We didn’t get any answers to any of our questions with any type of audit," Wilson said.
Her group got 102 signatures on a petition requesting a diffferent audit to look closely at the town's finances and budget. The petition was hand-delivered to State Auditor Nicole Galloway on Tuesday. The signatures on the petition still have to be authorized but Wilson said she is confident they could get even more signatures if needed.
Wilson said an outside audit will show whether "they are hiding things from us, and where exactly all our money is going."
Talon Walther, who is in the Facebook group, said now is the time for residents to step up and do something.
"If we don't take a stand now then it's just going to get worse and worse and worse for our town," Walther said.
He said no one will want to stay in New Bloomfield if there's no police presence.
"And it's not only us as citizens as adults, but we've got our kids and then our grandkids that are going to be coming up later on, and if something's not done now then what's the future for them here in New Bloomfield?."
Wilson and Walther said members of the group plan to run for aldermen in April of 2019, and mayor in 2020.