Suggests double standard regarding town audit
Published 5:15 pm, Wednesday, May 4, 2011
To the Editor:
With the budget referendum come and gone, and the election season ahead, I'm finding it curious how last year's perceived (and unfounded) transgressions of the New Milford Board of Education -- a cause for outrage of the giant billboard variety -- is this year's "so what?" when similar actual transgressions are reported by the town's auditor.
Last year, there was a whole website devoted to perceived BOE missteps.
When the audit report shows the town side of the budget engaging in sloppy accounting, opaque transfers, over funding of several funds, the same website is in "maintenance mode" for three months.
Last year, the BOE was scolded for having a surplus and not "returning it to the taxpayers" (the surplus was given to the town's capital reserve fund).
This year? I was told in a Town Council meeting that "over funding is smart" on the town side. Apparently, over funding the town budget is the norm, at least for much of the last decade.
Last year, there was a hue and cry about granting school employees their contractual pay raises.
This past summer? Town employees were given pay raises out of the "contingency fund" -- by overruling the town's own Board of Finance, no less.
I don't recall voting on approving those raises (although I'm not saying town employees didn't deserve them). It was "our money" that was used without our consent.
Why no billboard?