By Nancy Guenther Chapman
NORWALK, Conn. – An allegation that bills for Norwalk’s golf course were not paid in a timely manner has some validity, interim Oak Hills Executive Director Shelly Guyer indicated last week.
Former Oak Hills Park golf course superintendent Tommy Vorio said in a recent email that the course had incurred many finance charges over the summer because bills were not paid in a timely manner. There were “bills for park maintenance that range from 60-120 days past due,” he said, adding that. “Several vendor relationships have been lost as a result.”
Guyer indicated that was true.
“The volume of bills that come in to a golf course during the course of a season are enormous,” Guyer said. “There might be some changes over the winter that might tighten that up. We are redefining the administrative assistant’s job here. In fact, I don’t have one at the moment.”
Vorio sent an email to Common Council members in early December saying, “I have never seen a public entity (Oak Hills Park Authority) with more secrets and attempts to hide pertinent information from the public at large.” He resigned at the Dec. 20 authority meeting.
Vorio’s allegations include the accusation that an ad hoc driving range committee had held meetings with no notice to the public.
“I don’t believe that’s true,” Guyer said.
Guyer would not comment on other allegations from Vorio.
The requirements for a new administrative assistant will be more rigorous, Guyer said.
“We’re going to be bringing somebody on that has stronger finance and bookkeeping skills,” he said. “The original job description didn’t make that enough of a requirement for the job. I believe that we need somebody that has those strong skills that will help eliminate those types of problems.”
Members of the public have called for an audit.
“We are audited every year by a CPA,” Guyer said. “I don’t know why people are calling for audits. He does an in-depth audit every year, and he issues an audit letter every year. This audit question is not valid.”
Guyer was the president of the golf course’s men’s association when he was asked to take the executive director job last February following the resignation of former Executive Director Vinny Grillo, a friend. Grillo’s last day was Dec. 31, 2011.
“I was happily retired. I don’t need to be doing this,” Guyer said. “I don’t know if they’ll find anyone else at what they’re paying.”
His low salary is one of the reasons the authority was able to pay the city back $218,000 last September, according to an article in The Hour.
“I’ll be here for one more year at least,” Guyer said. “I just want to get this place going in the right direction. … Since I have been here we are trying to work more closely with the Board of Estimate, try to keep them in the loop with what is going on here.”
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