Show us the proof

Published 2:31 pm Tuesday, May 5, 2009

One cannot help but appreciate the character he exhibited when, in last week’s Murfreesboro Town Council meeting, Bill Theodorakis said, “If it’s services we received, we should pay our bills…”

But In this specific instance, we think Theodorakis is wrong.

His reference was to a bill for $12,192.50 sent the Town by a Raleigh civil engineering firm for work performed more than three years ago.

Moreover, no one, either on the council or, so far, with the firm, can recall or prove the work was actually ever ordered.

In fact, Town Administrator Cathy Davison has been back through the council’s minutes line by line by line and can find no reference to the ordering of the work.

Theodorakis and another council member – Molly Eubank – both recall discussion of the property involved, but – repeating for emphasis – neither recalls ordering survey work regarding the 100-by-200 foot area.

In a letter responding to a query from Davison, Robert Graham of the George Finch Boney and Associates firm in Raleigh, wrote, “I was first asked about the need for some survey work on this project in January of 2006. I was in Murfreesboro for some meetings related to the wastewater treatment facilities project and went to Winton to get copies of the deeds for the cemetery tract and for the surrounding properties…

The letter continues, “…During 2006 and 2007 when (we) were doing our field and office work on the project, we held off on sending invoice, hoping the issue of the Winborne line would be resolved quickly and that we could get the map recorded and send one final invoice. When this still had not happened in November of 2008, we sent an invoice for our work to date. With the slumping economy, we could no longer keep this amount of time on our books unbilled…”

We would suggest that the Town should, indeed, pay the bill – but only after the Raleigh firm produces proof that the work was, in fact, ever actually ordered.