Crumes, Broderick clash at council meeting

Nov. 11—ANDERSON — Sparks flew between Anderson City Council President Rebecca Crumes and Mayor Thomas Broderick Jr. over a proposed ordinance.

The ordinance sought by Crumes would have allowed council members read only access to the city's Munis Financial System.

The proposed ordinance was tabled Thursday by the council until the Dec. 8 meeting.

"I'm supporting the ordinance because the council has the right to have read only access to see account balances," Crumes said. "The mayor has denied that access."

Most of any government unit's financial information is available on the state's Gateway website, which can be viewed by any citizen.

Broderick said the administration opposed the ordinance and that the Indiana State Board of Accounts said the decision was up to the city.

"Every aspect of what we do at the city — all payroll, all department information and sensitive information — is on the system," Broderick said.

Broderick said only City Controller Doug Whitham and the IT staff have access to the system.

At that point Crumes began to slam her gavel and said to Broderick, "You need to sit down."

"I'm not going to sit down. I'm the mayor," Broderick responded.

Broderick said the Munis Financial System is located on the city's computer servers that are constantly under attack by hackers.

"During COVID when we had people working from home, we made sure they were on a secure system," he said.

Broderick said the information is readily available to council members who request it from Whitham.

Whitham said the council is provided with written reports on an annual basis of projected revenues and fund balances.

"All you have to do is come to my office and we will provide the information," he said. "We rarely hear from anyone."

Crumes then slammed her gavel again and told Whitham to sit down.

Councilman Lance Stephenson said the council can get the information and he didn't want access to confidential information.

At one point during the meeting, Councilman Rick Muir said read-only access would allow council members to see Social Security numbers, health information and home addresses of employees.

"If you want to vote it down, vote it down," Crumes said.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.