Stubbs is Stonewalling

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Dear Editor:

I read Mr. Stubbs’ response to criticism of the town of Eastville police department.

Mr. Stubbs is not the Police Chief. Mr. Eder is the $93,000-a-year chief of police. He is the captain of the ship and he has run aground. He is responsible for public statements.

Mr. Stubbs is the No. 2 man in a five-man department. He has not adequately explained why his pay has exceeded that of the sheriff of Northampton County.

FOIA requests have been met with evasive and misleading behavior. My FOIA request of July 12 included the following inquiry: “list of all employees of the town of Eastville and their respective annual salaries and other compensation” (from 2018 to present). What I got back was Chief Eder’s base salary and the hourly pay of all the other employees. This was intentionally done to conceal bonuses and overtime abuse.

The revised FOIA request was returned two days later than required by state code.

Mr. Stubbs will not disclose the configuration and costs of the department’s service rifles. This refusal is not for tactical or officer safety concerns. It is because he will be embarrassed by the unnecessary and exorbitant cost of these toys if the figures are disclosed.

Mr. Stubbs asserts that his officers’ pay is only slightly higher than the other officers in the county, and is higher to attract better and more qualified officers to the department. By this logic, does he consider himself more capable than Sheriff Doughty? Stubbs is paid more. Are the cops in Eastville “better” than the other officers in Northampton county?

David Eder is the police chief, town administrator, and fire chief. The Town Council recently voted to buy the fire department’s bingo hall for over $100,000, because the fire department is in financial difficulty. The reason for this is that tax-exempt status was revoked because tax returns were not filed for three consecutive years. I believe Mr. Eder was fire chief during this period of gross mismanagement. The town did not need the bingo hall. Is this not a conflict? The town is paying this man $93,000 per year. Could we expect more from the top town manager? Also, Mr. Eder now lives in Onancock and is not readily available for town emergencies.

Mr. Stubbs seems almost proud that his overpaid police officers double as water system maintenance workers. Shouldn’t a lower paid individual be secured for maintenance? I call this mismanagement.

The sheriff’s department responds to 88% of Eastville’s calls between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. Mr. Stubbs must be called in on major incidents. He asserts that he can usually get to the scene within a short time after the county responds to Eastville’s calls for service. Wouldn’t it be better to proactively patrol Eastville and prevent these incidents from occurring in the first place?

According to pay records, Mr. Stubbs consistently works a full schedule as well as an extraordinary amount of overtime, — $43,000 worth in one year. How could he possibly have time to devote to a job as a district one supervisor?

I am disgusted with the stonewalling and obfuscation I have received from Eastville’s management. It is long past due for a forensic audit.

Stuart Oliver
Eastville