Following concerns with the capital accounts within the Town of Southampton, it was decided on Monday that Richard Blowes would step down from the position of deputy supervisor. Both Blowes and Supervisor Linda Kabot agreed that his responsibilities would be more focused on implementing upgrades to the financial management systems within the Town for improved audit capabilities.
Blowes will now work solely under his other title, Town Management Services Administrator, in order to vet out the fiscal inconsistencies, which has been causing some outcry with members of the town board, in relation to capital projects and the capital budget.Â
In a press release sent out from the supervisor’s office on Monday, itÂ stated that the board would do better without Blowes “having to wear two hats.”Â Â
Bill Jones, the town’s Human Services Director, was appointed to the role of deputy supervisor on Monday.
Jones was born and raised in Sag Harbor where he previously served as a village trustee.Â Jones also worked as Deputy Commissioner of the Suffolk County Department of Social Services and as a Suffolk County Legislator. For the last five years, Jones has worked for the town of Southampton.
“My first order of business is going to be to resolve the issue with regards to the capital budget,” he said in an interview on Tuesday. He said he would like to explain the current fiscal condition for town government to the people of the Southampton. Jones also said that he would maintain his current responsibilities while taking on the requirements to fulfill the deputy supervisor position.
“I have always considered the budget to be the most important document that we publish,” Jones said, “and I want to focus on making it understandable and readable.” He also said he hopes to increase the communication between the town board members and the supervisor’s office as well as the community.
Two weeks ago, Blowes and the town board had a lengthy regular work session relating to changes to the Poxabogue Golf Course. At that work session it was revealed that the town’s checkbooks, associated with the Town’s Capital Program were not adding up to match the computerized records in the Comptroller’s Office for project authorizations provided to departmental managers — leading to a $19 million discrepancy between the two.
At the moment, in order to determine what has caused the discrepancy, the town board is taking a good look at all their capital projects and Blowes will be focusing on that.
When supervisor Kabot took her oath of office in January of 2008, one of her first moves was to nominate Blowes to the position of deputy supervisor to work closely with her. The responsibility of the deputy supervisor is to act administratively in the extended absence of the supervisor and to assist with carrying out various public relations functions.Â