Jeffersonville Clerk-Treasurer Peggy Wilder and members of Jeffersonville’s Parks Board agreed Monday to meet to discuss her concerns regarding alleged accounting deficiencies within the parks department, but only after a sometimes wild conversation during a City Council workshop.

Wilder said she runs into a “brick wall” when she asks for contracts relating to claims for personal services and that recently one of her employees who went to the parks office seeking such information was told to “leave the department and stop harassing the employees.”

“I’m just trying to get the information I need to do my job,” said Wilder.

Parks Board President Kevin LaGrange said that during a meeting with a State Board of Accounts auditor on July 20, he asked Wilder for a list of her concerns and that he still has not received it.

“I’m working on it,” she said.

“Our board has a lot of confidence in (Parks Director) Rob Poff,” LaGrange said. “We feel like he’s got character and integrity.”

LaGrange said, “We’re going to cooperate and get you what you need.”

“And I appreciate that,” said Wilder.

Council President Keith Fetz said he believes that ongoing dispute between Wilder and Mayor Rob Waiz’s administration is a “power struggle” which “needs to cease.”

“Everybody knows what this is about,” said Fetz.

Wilder and Waiz have battled on several fronts since early 2006. The series of disagreements seems to have begun over space for Wilder’s staff at City Hall, then continued over software for and control of the Sewer Billing Office and the latest issues with the Parks and Recreation Department.

After the Sanitary Sewer Board transferred control of the Sewer Billing Office to Wilder, the office’s former manager, Kim Johnson, was fired. Waiz fired Beverly Knight, Wilder’s sister, from her job as director of the Jeffersonville Youth Commission just last week.

“Why don’t we dig down and have a discussion instead of a public forum to try to grab headlines?” LaGrange asked.

Fetz said he believes something “has changed with the parks department.”

“It can be a shining example of what Jeffersonville is about,” he said.

“And it’s not now?” said Parks Board member Ted Throckmorton.

“I didn’t say that,” Fetz said.

Parks Board member Mike Nelson said he was tired of local officials running to the media “to demonize those with whom you disagree” and compared the behavior of some public officials to what he would expect from grade school or junior high children.

“You are small fish in a small pond,” Nelson said.

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