Beaver County Commissioner Sandie Egley is speaking out following a joint written statement released on Friday by Republican Commissioner Dan Camp and Democratic Commissioner Tony Amadio. In an interview with the Beaver Countian, Egley had harsh words about her fellow Republican Commissioner, who she believes has been “betraying the people of Beaver County” by aligning himself with the very people that voters elected him to fight against.
In answering questions from the Beaver Countian during last week’s public work session, Financial Administrator Ricardo Luckow revealed that proposed budgets submitted by department heads and elected row officials showed a potential deficit of $9 million in next year’s county budget. Commissioner Egley had also asked Luckow questions about the budget during the meeting.
The subsequent statement released by Commissioners Camp and Amadio said the two would not be raising taxes next year, and that they both “apologize for the scare tactic of others and the ensuing anxiety that many of our friends, neighbors, and family had felt after reading of a perceived budget deficit.”
Commissioner Sandie Egley said she has spent the past several days thinking about the statement sent out by her fellow Commissioners.
“They have drawn a line in the sand that they know I will not cross […] This letter has set the tone for the next two years of my life,” said Egley. “This is a turning point for me. I am not like them.”
Egley said that Commissioner Camp and Commissioner Amadio issued the statement without discussing the matter with her first, and called it “a bad joke” that Camp has aligned himself with Amadio on next year’s budget.
“Dan’s decision to partner with Tony Amadio is unforgivable for me,” said Egley. “Tony Amadio is part of the prior Board of Commissioners who got us to where we are right now and that’s on the edge of financial devastation. Tony passed a fraudulent budget — whether you use that term literally or figuratively — it was a budget where numbers were made up, it was a budget designed to lie to the public, and Dan knows that […] Dan getting behind Tony Amadio is a big ‘F-you’ to everyone who supported us during the election.”
Commissioner Egley said the joint statement has given the public an opportunity to peer behind the curtain.
“I have been watching Dan Camp do all sorts of things behind the scenes, but now it is crystal clear to everyone that Dan has already become part of the system he was elected to fight against,” said Egley. “Dan Camp and Tony Amadio have had a long courtship but now they’re officially married.”
Egley acknowledges that the other Republicans who got voted into office along with her — Sheriff Tony Guy, District Attorney David Lozier, and Coroner David Gabauer — have also separated themselves from her.
“They are already talking about finding someone to replace me during the next election,” said Egley. “They were finished with me when I took a stand last year against Tony Guy getting a bunch more money for the Sheriff’s Office — when Tony Guy was bringing his mom and his sister to public meetings with him to yell at me about not giving him more money to play with […] Well you can’t have it all, you can’t keep throwing money around everywhere and expect taxes not to go up. You have to make some decisions and that’s my job, to make those decisions […] They are good at forming cliques and playing the political game, which I am not a part of and am never going to be a part of. They are looking at this through very different eyes than I am. They have not been keeping their promises to the public, they’ve turned into the system and I don’t respect their positions.”
Commissioner Egley told the Beaver Countian that she has been working hard at bringing transparency to the courthouse, and although that has at times caused her political grief, she intends to redouble those efforts.
“I don’t put the budget numbers that we are working from out there to scare people, or to cause a media stir,” said Egley. “I put them out there because that’s what we’re facing. The public has a right to know what’s real. You have so much money you bring in, you have so much you’re spending, and if these two yahoos who are on the Board with me don’t make some real decisions these problems are going to continue […] If that ‘scares our friends, family, and neighbors,’ then I’m sorry but they elected me because they wanted to know the truth of what’s going on, and as long as I’m in office they’re going to get the truth. They’re adults, I think they can handle it.”
Egley is warning those who support her that she may have a difficult time executing her agenda moving forward.
“Dan Camp has given Tony Amadio all of the power, there is your voting block, those two,” said Egley. “I suspect they will be voting to remove me as Chair soon, and probably after this budget is done they will fire [Financial Administrator] Ricardo Luckow. He’s too honest for them, maybe they’ll bring Vince LaValle back to fix some more books […] County finances are not Dan and Tony’s forte that’s for damn sure. I don’t think either of them have the balls to do what needs to be done to really fix the budget, so Tony will get Dan to fudge it again. They say they will not raise taxes, well you can’t cut a budget without making decisions that will piss some people off, you just can’t […] Maybe Dan Camp’s afraid of Tony Guy’s mom, I don’t know.”
Commissioner Egley said that although she is not part of a voting block that will be able to get things passed, she intends to remain vocal about the problems the county is facing.
“With Dan and Tony together I can’t stop what they want to do, but I do have a voice for the next two years and they’re going to be hearing it,” said Egley. “They are going to have to sit there and listen to every question that I have for every resolution that we have. They can sit there together and sigh and look at their watches all they want, but if you want to be a good steward of the public’s money that’s how you do it. You question everything.”