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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Finally...

the 2006 Town of New Hartford Financial Statements has been made available to Concerned Citizens.

Anyone who has been following our blog knows that getting FOILed information from the Town of New Hartford is like pulling teeth!

We first FOILed the 2006 Town of New Hartford Audited Financial Statement in March 2007; at that time we were told it wasn't ready. We kept asking the Town Clerk when do you expect to receive the report...June, July we kept asking...the answer...not available yet.

On January 3, 2008, we once again submitted a FOIL request for the 2006 audited financial statements.
Today we received a copy of the financials along with the Independent Auditors' Report that is dated October 15, 2007. According to the report:

In our opinion, because of the effects of the matter discussed in the preceding paragraph, the financial statements referred to above do not present fairly, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America, the financial position of the Town of New Hartford, New York as of December 31, 2006 or the changes in financial position thereof for the year ended.

...We have applied certain limited procedures, which consisted principally of inquiries of management regarding the methods of measurement and presentation of the required supplemental information. However, we did not audit the information and express no opinion on it.

Hmm...interesting! Probably why Frank Basile's contract reads the way it does!

UPDATE: By the way, the 2006 Financials seemed to appear rather quickly after a member of Concerned Citizens filed a Notice of Claim against the Town of New Hartford!

Could it get any worse? Oh, YES...stay tuned!

8 comments:

Strikeslip said...

GOOD JOB getting the report... Let's see if the OD reports on it!

BRAVEHEART said...

In reading the Basile CPA Contract with the Town of New Hartford, I noticed the time frame Mr. Basile is to be involved with the Town's Financial overview.

Interestingly, Mr. Basile's Contract overlaps with that of Barone, Hilton CPA's.

It does seem that both the Hilton Firm and Basile CPA firm may have acted together?

What is know is that the Barone, Hilton CPA firm spent almost ten (10) months or more on the Towns Finances and now say they are not in compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles?

Barone, Hilton CPA's, if not performing an audited report; then please tell the Town taxpayers, "what the hell they did from January 2007 through October 2007? If not auditing the Town's records...what Accounting Services did they perform?

What does appear here are questionable acts on behalf of Barone, Hilton CPA's and too, Frank Basile, CPA firm. Why? Well, I guess you can best judge that when you read the Town's 2006 "UNAUDITED-???" Report and by looking at the Revenues and Balance Sheet. The story is there, however, the whole story is yet to unravel itself.

Comptroller of New York State should have a "field day" with this audit.

Lastly, how much did we pay Barone, Hilton CPA's, add to that Frank Basile CPA contract with the Town.

QUESTION: Were there any other CPA firms performing "Accounting" work for the Town during 2006 and how much did we pay them? Seems like the Town Taxpayers have paid in excess of $200,000 in Accounting fees and have taken it up the proverbial "A**" - "FOR THE 16 MONTH PERIOD SEPTEMBER 12, 2OO7 TO DECEMBER 31, 2OO8"

Mrs Mecomber said...

I don't know anything about accounting and very little about town law.

What does all this legalese mean, in plain language?

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

Mrs. Mecomber,

The short version is that the town's audit is not really an audit. The auditors merely talked to the town managers regarding methods used by the town...after discussions with the town managers the auditors are unable to express an opinion one way or the other as to the soundness of the information in the report. In a "real" audit they would randomly ask for documents in order to verify the records. They would look over procedures to insure that there "checks and balances" in other words "accountability".

The auditors noted that the town does not follow generally accepted accounting principles; basically everything in the report is unsubstantiated. $10,000 was budgeted for this unsubstantiated audit...it will be interesting to see how much the town actually paid.

$13+ million budget and we have no one "minding the store". And how much more do they want to bond for? At least $2.9 million if you read the article in yesterday's paper. And let's not forget the bond anticipation notes that will need to be paid - last count it was well over $1 million. And they will soon be putting forth a bond proposal for the purchase of property.

Everytime we FOIL a document we just cannot believe what we find. We have a couple more blogs that will be online shortly. It is apparent that nobody is minding the store, but why should they? Until now, no one has questioned anything. After all, they can just shuffle the numbers at budget time and then tax the residents.

Totally unbelievable! Every resident in the Town of New Hartford should be outraged at some of the information we have posted...all of it backed up by documents directly from the Town Clerk's office!

Time to wake up New Hartford! Just what will it take?

UticaSux said...

Hi guys, Mrs. M, Strike...

Don't hold your breath waiting for the Observer Dishrag to report on it: They've comprimised themselves by protecting Reed and the flunkys before. They must now continue to do so, or be exposed as complacent "before". Funny, you/we/everyone warned ALL thatthis would not go away, yet like deer in the headlights they all continued on their tack hoping it would go away.

I think we'll be writing Gatehouse HQ again asking why they still haven't addressed this sewer of a newspaper's problems. In fact I think we might post the last letter from December we sent, thus embarrassing them yet again.

Meantime, have you guys considered sending mass-mail flyers to all town citizens? If $$ is a problem I'll personally open the checkbook and do that for you. No joke. Let me know.

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

UticaSux,

Thank you for the offer...perhaps, we can collaberate...we will be in touch.

froggy81500 said...

I have an accounting background, as that is what I do for a living. Here's some food for thought.

Where are these unlisted assets? Better yet, what are these unlisted assets? Part of recording an asset and depreciating it means there is an inventory of assets. By expensing it off like that, does anyone keep track of what happens to them?

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

froggy81500,

Our guess is that it is all the town vehicles and equipment.

If you recall, when we FOILed the town's equipment list last December they were unable to give us a list until mid-March. We have also asked for the value of certain pieces of equipment and they are unable to give us that information.

We believe that is part of the problem that trucks and equipment are being sold for peanuts or just missing. It would appear they have no handle on the assets of the town.

We have a copy of the engagement letter for the accounting firm and it is worded very funny. It's almost like they were covering their you know what. It is also funny that the engagement letter was signed by Earle Reed a month after the accounting firm signed their Independent Auditor's Report.

One other funny thing is the audit was supposed to cost between $7,500 and $8,500 per a letter dated in June 2007, but ended up costing $17,900 minus the $5,900 courtesy discount.