Wareham Harbormaster: Woodcarving Wasn’t Bought With Town Funds
A bit of Wareham woodworking is carving up the comments section on a town department’s official Facebook page, after the Wareham Department of Natural Resources had to defend itself against an accusation that taxpayer funds were used to purchase a wooden version of the department’s patch.
The Facebook group “Onset All Together” shared a post Tuesday morning from Plymouth-based EJ’s Customs Woodworking of a wooden plaque being commissioned that reproduces the patch of the Wareham Department of Natural Resources.
The Onset All Together reposting had a caption of “Your tax dollars at work,” apparently implying that the woodcarving was being paid for by the Town of Wareham through the department.
Wareham Director of Natural Resources/Harbormaster Garry Buckminster responded in the comments, stating “This was paid for out of my own pocket.” He also accused the group administrator of "not working off any factual information." A more detailed response was also posted on the Wareham DNR Facebook page.
“We have unfortunately been pushed to respond to a community page called ‘Onset All Together’ accusing us of spending tax dollars on this beautiful wooden rendition of our department patch,” the department posted. “This patch was purchased by the director of the department privately with no ‘tax dollars’ being spent. It will proudly be displayed in our office for everyone to view the craftsmanship that was put into this!”
After Buckminster responded in the comments of the Onset All Together post, the group administrator, Lisa Morales, responded both on the community page and the DNR page that Buckminster “got $5,000 out of Onset parking money.”
Buckminster explained that he was paid a stipend when the parking program was enacted in Onset “for the additional duties outside of (his) job description,” and that it was later negotiated into his salary once it parking enforcement became a permanent part of his duties.
EJ’s Customs Woodworking also has a post that it is working on a wooden replica of the Wareham Police Department patch as well, and has done work for that department and numerous other law enforcement personnel and agencies, based on the business’ photos on its page.
Buckminster told WBSM News he did not know who paid for the Wareham Police Department woodcarving.