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Friday, December 14, 2007

Budgeted Expenses Minus Anticipated Revenues Equals....

the amount to be raised by taxes.

When Concerned Citizens first received the 2008 Preliminary Budget, we noticed that General-Whole-Town revenues seemed to have shifted.

You will notice that 2008 General Whole-Town Revenues are up by almost $400,000 over 2007, but 2008 General Wholetown Minus NYM is down by almost $175,000 for the same time where previously they seemed to increase each year. Seemed odd, so we started looking at revenues for all departments.

First thing that struck us as odd was that the budgeted Dispatch Fees for Whitesboro, Yorkville and New York Mills were down from the 2006 budget; the last budget prepared by the previous administration. Particularly odd, since the Dispatch Contract had been approved in May 2006 with increased costs.

So we sent a FOIL request to the Town of New Hartford for the Dispatch Contracts for the Village of Whitesboro, the Village of New York Mills and the Village of Yorkville for the years 2004, 2005, 2006 & 2007. None of copies of the contracts we were given were signed by either party so we went to each village and FOILed their copies of the contracts.

We start with the Village of Whitesboro. The Village of Whitesboro provided us with copies of the 2006 and 2007 contracts. They also stated that to date they had not received a contract for 2008 which is odd, because the contracts we have say "at least thirty (30) days prior to the termination of this contract, that termination being December 31 2006 (December 31, 2007), that the consideration for such services to be paid to the Town of New Hartford by the Village of Whitesboro shall be re-negotiated prior to the commencement of the new term commencing January 1, 2008. So wouldn't that be by December 1, 2007?

Additionally, the Village of Whitesboro only had copies of contracts signed by Richard E. Pugh, but they stated they never received signed copies back from the Town of New Hartford. We are amazed that they actually pay out taxpayer monies without first obtaining signed contracts.

We compared the contract we received from the Village Whitesboro to the Village of Whitesboro contract we received from the Town of New Hartford. The contracts from both the Village of Whitesboro and the Town of New Hartford state that the amount of the contract is for $7,150...the same as it has been since at least 2006. The 2006 Budgeted amount which was prepared by the previous administration matches the contracts...$7,150, but look at the 2008 budget, the Town of New Hartford has only budgeted $5,750 and only budgeted $5,750 in year 2007. That is a difference of $1,300 that was left out of the budget for this line item each year. Why, would the revenues not be reported accurately particularly if the revenue is determined by contract?

One other item jumped out at us as we reviewed the 2008 budget. According to the 2008 Approved Budget, the revenue for the DWI contract was $0. Seemed strange because in 2007 $39,500 was budgeted for the line. At the December 12, 2007 town board meeting, Chief Philo said they now have the budgeted amount for the DWI program...$40,000. That amount was left out of the 2008 Budget. Why...never seemed to be left out previously...late contract negotiations?

Of course, when you start understating revenue, the tax rate increases...

To be continued with information regarding the Villages of Yorkville and New York Mills, plus a couple of other interesting notes...


Bean Counter said...

It appears the Town of New Hartford, courtesy of Frank Basile, CPA may be guilty of professional malpractice? Will Mr. Basile's greed for the town's (2007/2008) budgeted funds - blind him?

Was this dollar amount budgeted between the two years close to $75,000?

It does appear that the Town has willfully and deliberately understated revenues and overstated expenses. Why has Mr. Basile refused to reconciled signed Town Dispatch Agreements to ACTUAL payments received from the Villages of New York Mills, Yorkville and Whitesboro?

Mr. Basile is ethically bound by the AICPA Code of Ethics and GAAP. Perhaps, Money does make the "blind" man see. Could this be Greed?

Incidentally, what became of the Barone, Hilton, CPA audit of the Town that was due out in June 2007?

By doing the above, Town Residents will have their taxes increased unnecessarily and too, the Town Department Heads have effectively created "slush" funds which are ILLEGAL...under these set of circumstances.

Incidentally, where are the Town/Village Board Resolutions to VALIDATE the payments and receipts?

Town/Village Governments can not legally disburse funds too, without a duly executed 911 Dispatchers Agreement.

Where is Mrs. Krupa in this matter? Taking her "orders" from Earl Reed?
She too, being a licensed Attorney and CPA must comply with a code of ethics.

Money does talk in this case.

New Hartford, N.Y. Online said...

Bean counter,

You ask some very good questions. We are in the process of trying to get answers. Overstating revenues in effect creates a "slush fund" at taxpayer expense or it could be an indication that money was spent faster than the revenues in 2006 and now the town board is trying to make up the differences.

Concerned Citizens is also wondering why our FOIL request for the 2006 audited financial statement is not being honored. Up until July 2007, we were told that it was not yet prepared. We have now submitted a new FOIL to try to obtain the 2006 audited financials...we will report when it is made available to us.