Butterfield clerk was unfairly targeted

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Dear Editor:

I was recently alerted to the article that ran in your Oct. 11 edition of the paper regarding the City of Butterfield state audit. I could not believe the way the auditor 's office chose to run the city officials and city clerk's good name through the mud with obviously exaggerated claims.

You see, I am the city collector for the City of Alba, Missouri. I worked with Georgia Wenell for three and a half years and know her very well. She is honest, trustworthy, fair, dedicated and loyal to a flaw. How can I say this with such certainty?

Well, you see, when she was the clerk for Alba she donated endless hours to the community working in the city park, working on improvements of the community building, taking care of ballfields with her own equipment, and most import-antly, she organized a group of citizens to save the old Alba school building (and did!)

Her determination to save the building and change it from an old boarded up building to an occupied and restored building could not be swayed by the nay sayers who said it was impossible. Thanks to her we have a restored historic building occupied by a church that has continued restoration of building for the city at the church's expense and not the taxpayers.

How can I say she is loyal to a flaw? In her third year with the city, a very corrupt and unscrupulous man ran for office unapposed for mayor. Georgia, realizing the true character of this man, filed on the last day of filing to run against him in an attempt to save the city from what she perceived as being a very serious threat. She did this knowing that she could be potentially sacrificing her job, and that if she did win, she was winning a job that pays $25 per month and losing her job as clerk.

She had the biggest vote in the history of Alba but still was not able to defeat this individual in the election. She resigned her position, insisting on a formal audit before she left, which was done. Shortly afterwards, she moved from Alba relocating in Barry County. She did not feel that she could stay and watch the destruction that she was so certain would take place.

Within three months of taking office, the mayor was forced to resign after it was discovered that he was embezzling money from the city. It was a shame that we had to lose a clerk of her caliber, but I am happy that I came to know her and still rely on her to this day for instruction regarding city affairs.

So you see, I may not have been there to have first-hand knowledge of what has gone on in Butterfield in the last couple of years, but I do know Georgia's character and that is all I have to know. I don't expect anyone to take my word for this. It can be researched in the Joplin Globe archives.


Treve Gordon

Alba, Missouri