Next Time You See Herb Morrow…Say Thank You
Several weeks ago, another local newspaper ran a story questioning Huntington Bay Mayor Herb Morrow about $1300 worth of expenses. While we encourage all expenses of public money to be questioned and investigated, we wonder why the facts surrounding these expenses was not published. After an investigation into this $1300 of expenses, we encourage our readers not to condemn Herb Morrow, but to thank him for being the example of an honest public servant. It it obvious that Mr. Morrow is not profiting off the public, but in fact it is costing him money to serve as the Mayor of Huntington Bay. Here are the facts:
Herb Morrow does not receive a salary for being Mayor, he receives no compensation of any kind. He does not have an office. Huntington Bay Village Hall is one room with a police booth. He does not have an assistant as the Town Council people do. He does not get reimbursed for mileage despite the fact that he attends many meetings and events as Mayor. He does not get reimbursed for cell phone usage and chooses to save the tax payer money by using his personal cell phone for his business as Mayor. He does not receive any employee benefits of any kind.
Some of the important tasks he deals with as an unpaid Mayor include managing the finances, dealing with contracts, RFP.s, and building permits. These time consuming tasks require putting in unpaid hours every week.
In regards to the expenses in question, Village business meetings are sometimes done over lunch or dinner. The Village trustees have set aside money for these meetings. Mr. Morrow rarely uses the full annual allotment. In fact, several years ago Mr. Morrow and the trustees lowered the amount of the budgeted allotment because it seemed to be more than what was needed.
Mr. Morrow and the Village Trustees do a budget every year. There is a budget for payment of expenses when meetings are conducted on Village issues. Those expenses, including who the meeting was with and why, are reviewed every month and approved by the Board. At the end of the year there is an audit of all financials. This audit is not required but was implemented by Mr. Morrow. That audit is presented to the Board. Village financials are sent to the New York State Controllers office and State Audit and Control. It seems that under the leadership of Mr. Morrow very tight financial controls have been implemented in Huntington Bay.
Due to things we were told during our investigation some believe a file was taken from Village Hall and given to the Huntington Democrats. We heard an email was sent to papers in Town by the Democratic Party. We believe The Long Islander was the only paper that ran the story and has kept it up for four issues.
The Huntington Bay Village Trustees have sent a letter to the Long Islander expressing their displeasure about the way this matter has been reported on. The Huntingtonian has requested a copy of the letter and we will print it after the Long Islander has had the opportunity to share it first.