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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Budgeted Expenses...cont'd

The Village of Yorkville also contracts with the Town of New Hartford for 911 Dispatch services. Unlike the Village of Whitesboro dispatch contracts, Yorkville's contract runs from June 1 to May 31 each year just like the Village budget.

We specifically requested that FOILed Dispatch contracts should be for 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. The contracts we received from the Town of New Hartford for each village were unsigned contracts for 2004, 2005, 2006 & 2007. Apparently, no 2008 contracts were available. The Village of Yorkville contract should have been signed by May 1, 2007 and the Village of NYM and Whitesboro were to be signed by December 1, 2007. We sent an email to the New Hartford town clerk asking why the 2008 contracts were not provided...our guess is just like the Village of Whitesboro contracts have been signed.

Anyway, getting back to the Village of Yorkville...To figure the amount that should have been included in the Town of New Hartford 2007 Budget for the Village of Yorkville dispatch fees, one has to take the first five (5) months of the year at the 2006 contract and the last seven (7) months at the 2007 contract.

So in 2007, the budgeted amount should be figured as follows:

January thru May 2007 at the 2006 contract = 2,292
June thru December 2007 at the 2007 contract = 4,171
Total budget amt = 6,463

However, according to the 2007 budget, the revenue was stated as $5,750...a difference of $713 less than contracted.

So since we haven't been provided with the 2008 contract, let's say that the contract for 2008 would be the same as the 2007 contract. That would mean that the 2008 budgeted revenue for the Village of Yorkville Dispatch Fees should be $7,150. However, the 2008 budget only shows $5,750...a difference of $1,400 less than contracted. Why?

It is interesting to note that the Village of Yorkville has been less than cooperative in answering our FOIL request. First, we were asked what we want it for...we don't have to say. It is our right to request and receive a copy of any public document. Next we receive a letter from the Village Clerk telling us "because we are in the midst of cleaning, painting, moving and trying to re-arrange furniture, files and paperwork", it will take 5 to 10 more days before the contracts will be made available. So, we are guessing what Ms. Petruccione probably meant is it will take 5 to 10 more days to get the necessary signatures because it probably doesn't look good if Concerned Citizens posts a contract on their blog showing that the Village of Yorkville has been paying monies out with no signed contract in place.

When revenues are understated, tax rates go up and more money is raised through taxes than is needed for projected expenses. This scenario raises concern that either the town board is surreptitiously trying to create a "slush fund"...or...the 2006 expenses outpaced the 2006 revenues and the fund balance is dwindling so the town board needs to start replenishing it. One might refer to that as mismanagement of taxpayer dollars.

Adding to our concern, last Februrary (2007), Concerned Citizens started trying to FOIL the 2006 audited financial statement and Opinion Letter, but to no avail. At late as July 2007, we were told that the report was still not available. We have submitted a new FOIL and we will report when and if we receive the financials.

We are starting to see a pattern here! Next, we will look at the Dispatch contracts for the Village of New York Mills.

to be continued...

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