Thursday, February 10, 2011

Time to pay the piper?

Through the end of December 2010, the general whole-town fund had an almost $1.7 million surplus for the year...according to an article in the Observer Dispatch; New Hartford expects to close 2010 budget with surplus...

...BUT, the Observer Dispatch article continues:
...by the time final receivables and payables are accounted for, the total is likely to be closer to $400,000, Tyksinski said.
So...we have plenty of money...if we don't pay our bills. What kind of smoke screen is that?

It became apparent that the town is still in financial distress after we heard the conversation between town officials just before the start of the January 12, 2011 town board meeting.

All the councilpeople were gathered around the table initialling what seemed to be an endless number of vouchers waiting to be presented and approved for payment later that evening. One councilman asked why there were so many. Supervisor Tyksinski answered that some of them were from September 2010 and just hadn't been paid yet.

Here's a picture of the vouchers on the table:



According to the DRAFT copy of the January 12, 2011 town board minutes, the vouchers totalled $825,473.80.

Here is ...a pdf of the minutes with a listing of the vouchers to be paid.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why vouchers from September 2010 were just being reviewed and approved for payment on January 12, 2011...there was no money available at that point until after the town property tax revenue started rolling in. The town simply did not have the money to pay their bills when they were due and some of those bills were 90 days past due!!!

By the way, an August 2, 2010, Observer Dispatch article, New Hartford's fund $350,000 in the red at end of ’09 stated:
‘Pay the piper’

The town has been managing its cash flow this year by borrowing between funds when necessary, Tyksinski said. But that can only work for so long.
“It’s not like we can just sit back and say, ‘That happened last year and let’s move forward,’” Tyksinski said. “Some place along the line, you have to pay the piper.”
The questions everyone should be asking are...how close to $400,000 does Supervisor Tyksinski think the ending fund balance will be? And is that guess based on the 'sales tax revenue windfall' touted by Supervisor Tyksinski? And is it before or after the borrowing between funds is paid back?

If the town is not in a position to pay their bills on time in September, perhaps it's merely a matter time before we are forced 'to pay the piper'!

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

So, what you are saying is that the exact procedure the comptroller's office just said essence illegal: raiding one fund to subsidize some jackassedness through another fund has now been expanded to more than just the police fund and general fund? Does the comptroller know that this is their true remedial action plan?

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

Probably not...but the Comptroller has already been in to do their work...they will never know until the next time they come in...probably 10 years from now.

Or will they know about it sooner? [wink, wink].

It would appear that there is a reason why Pat appointed his friend to help oversee the books.

By the way, the employee that got a large raise to supposedly do the paperwork has no bookkeeping training. When we questioned her about late fees and sales tax being paid on utility bills during the Reed administration, her answer was...I don't know, I'm an English major.

Anonymous said...

Is a monthly copy of the abstract of audited vouchers available to the public online to be able to see who the town is buying from how much is being spent with each vendor and what account the expenditure is being drawn from?

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

The information is not online; however, it would be public information. A FOIL request would have to be sent to the Town Clerk.

Anonymous said...

why can't we just get the HONEST TRUTH from this dishonest group. Why must everything be in double speak and foiling necessary to get documents that should be available on line for anyone to read without having to go through hoops to obtain? Seems to me that the good ole boys still have much to hide and are afraid of the daylight.