The following comment was posted in this blog, which I would like to address:
Thu, 22 Sep 2011 05:32:59
The only rats nest is the one created by Mr. Martino's choice as Comptroller. He is so confused by what she did, the auditors cannot even untangled it.
I would like to point out that the Town also had an audit of the 2006 finances which also much longer than normal. The 2006 audit took approximately 18 months to complete and one of the errors made by the previous bookkeeper, Joanne Lown, in the amount of $35,000 for the Forest Dr. Landfill was discovered at that time. Perhaps this reader would like to comment on the time it took to complete the 2006 audit on the errors that were found then.
This reader failed to mention that her comment most likely because she is attempting to deflect the discoverty of the errors she made as bookkeeper onto others.
*This is a rat's nest. It was said that Ms. Lown created a rat's nest of the town finances.
I read through the minutes from the August meetings and found the comments to be not only interesting but entertaining as well.
Let's take a look at the August 8, 2011 meeting:
PUBLIC COMMENT ON RESOLUTIONS ONLY:
John Bickford, Rogers Rd., questioned how the Highway budget amendment could be so detailed when the Town Board did not know the fund balance.
Joe Kakish, 152 Roosevelt Rd., asked if the 2009 audit was complete and where the money was coming from for the budget amendment resolutions.
*I want to point out that Mr. Kakish has FINALLY attended a Town Board meeting. In his run forthe position of Supervisor (or Superintendent as he has stated) he has finally decided it's time to see what a Town Board does.
However, Joe really should take care of his own finances at home first. Both he and his wife have had in excess of $109,000 in legal judements against them on file with the Dutchess County Clerk's office. According to rumor, Mr. Kakish has stated that these judgements are the error of Brad Kendell, County Clerk.
And based upon the following explanation, finance is not Joe's forte since he wasn't aware of this already.
Did you ever meet someone who thinks that they are smart but in actually are not?
Supervisor Martino stated that the audit has not been released by the auditing firm. He further explained that an equal transfer of dollars from one line item to another would result in no change to the fund balance.
Joseph Petito, Cobey Terr., questioned if the audit would be presented to the Board at a public meeting.
Attorney to the Town, James Horan, stated that the audit is not finalized yet. When it is complete it will be presented to the Board, and then to the public.
John Bickford again expressed concern regarding the Town Board not knowing the fund balance and questioned why they couldn’t come to a final balance.
Supervisor Martino explained that there has been difficulty for the auditors in performing the audit of 2009. He stated that the records had been a one sided journal for the past eleven years. There were receipts and disbursements that had not been recorded. The trial balance did not match from one year to the next. There is a $35,000 discrepancy that should have been addressed in 2006, with the landfill. The South Quaker Lane Ambulance District bill had not been
paid for a three year period, stating that someone refused to pay it because they felt it was too high, therefore the people in that district had a 598%
increase to make up the amount due. There is also a problem with the software program that the town has been using.
Attorney to the Town, James Horan, stated that the problem with the software is that until you close out the prior year, you can not do a run on the currant (sic) year.
John Bickford questioned the Police budget and if overtime spent on recent police cases is within the approved budget.
Councilman Taylor explained that when you move money from one line to another within a budget, it does not matter what the fund balance is because you do not touch the fund balance, it does not change. Each department head should know how much money they have spent.
Joe Petito questioned the fund balance percentage allowed. Councilman Taylor stated that the fund balance should not exceed 6-12% of the budget. They do not want you to keep large fund balances because they do not want you unduly taxing residents.
My comment is that this audit has been ongoing for several months yet people still question it under the impression that Mr. Martino is somehow lying about this.
The auditor's findings will be able to be verified so what will Mr. Martino have to gain about conjuring up imagined errors that the past bookkeeper made. This audit is being conducted by a CPA by Sedore & Co.
Let's move on to the August 22, 2011 meeting because this one is a doozy.
SUE SERINO WAS ABSENT FROM THIS MEETING.
Joanne Lown, 24 Horns Park Rd, expressed her concern regarding the financial practices of the Town since they appointed a Comptroller.
Ms. Lown is concerned about the financial practices of the Town. Joanne should really be concerned about the findings of the 2009 audit.
Based upon the information so far, she issued false financial reports and records, was unable to properly maintain accurate records for the past eleven years and operated the town's finances on a cash rather than an accrual basis.
Ms. Lown is also hoping to be reinstated to her former position once a new Town Board is elected.
When the official report is issued, Ms. Lown's career as a bookkeeper will most likely be over since it will indicate total imcompetance on her part. The only work she will be able to obtain (and rumor has it that she already is) is working under the table in the capacity of keeping the books for her friends.
Pompey Delefield, East Market St, stated that his administration left the Town in sound fiscal shape. He also stated that he is disturbed that there are no records to show the shape the Town is in now. He also supports both items in workshop discussion.
An audit of the town's finances should have taken eight to ten weeks to complete if the town was in 'sound financial shape'. This audit has been ongoing since JANUARY!!!!!
What does that tell you? I would really like to know what color pill Pompey has been taking since it's clouding his perception of what's actually going on.
Pompey may be attempting to cover up the financial mess that he allowed to occur due to alloting complete control of the finances to Ms. Lown. Pompey did not exercise any oversight to the bookkeeper. Any anyone with any financial background knows that bookkeepers do not have authority.
Joe Kakish, in reference to Resolution #1, asked if anyone has been hired in Justin Bohlmann’s place.
This inquiry could be because Mr. Kakish is currently unemployed and has stated that he's hoping to be elected because he is in need of employment. Mr. Kakish graduated from a non accredited law school in May 2010. He took the bar exam (for the second time according to rumor) this past July. Contrary to what the Hudson Valley News printed in an article in June, Mr. Kakish is NOT a lawyer.
And even if he's not interested in applying for this job why would he be concerned if a part-time police dispatcher position has been filled?
John Bickford, 64 Rogers Rd, stated that he does support the Police Dept. and any efforts to improve accounting. He also stated his concerns
in reference to the fund balance and the budget.
Councilman Taylor explained that at the currant time there are no recommendations to fill the vacant part time Police position. As far as the
Budget amendments on the agenda, there is no increase in spending.
They are simply moving money from one budget line to another. Supervisor Martino pointed out that the Budget amendment Resolutions state that the intra departmental transfer shall not result in any additional costs to the Town of Hyde Park.
It seems like the Town Board members have to keep on reiterating the SAME explanation to attendees that either don't listen, don't understand or are living in La-La land. Pass the Bong.