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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Where's the beef?

Recently the Observer Dispatch reported:
The audit, which was released in late January, estimated that the town’s police fund at the end of 2009 owed other town funds – primarily the general fund – about $1 million due to police budget deficits from 2004 through 2009.
Tyksinski said his review in response to the state audit isn’t finalized, but the total is closer to $300,000.
Shortly after the article appeared in the Observer Dispatch, a request was sent to the town clerk for information from the Supervisor as to:
...what records (evidence) the town supervisor has in his possession that support an opposite point-of-view with that of the NYS Comptroller who stated that $1,000,000 is due payable from the Police Fund.
Please have him provide all records supporting his claim of only $300,000.
In reply to the request, the town clerk said:
...any amount which may have been given to the newspaper was an estimate and Patrick said he'd made that clear to the reporter. Upon determination of the final figure, Patrick will be happy to provide the calculations, which substantiates the final number. At this point there is no final number.
Interesting, particularly when you review the Corrective Action Plan which was submitted to the NYS Comptroller as the town's response to the audit of town records.

As part of the audit, the NYS Comptroller's recommended that "the Board should determine what portion of the general town-wide fund balance related to police operations and account for it in the newly-created police fund."

The town stated in the their Corrective Action Plan prepared in response to the Comptroller's audit that was released in January 2011:
"The determination of the Police Fund Balances, as of the date of this report is nearly completed. The correct fund balance will appear on the 2010 Annual Report submitted to the State Comptroller's Office."
The 2010 Annual Report would be the Annual Update Document [AUD] that is supposed to be filed with the State Comptroller's Office no later than May 1 each year as required by General Municipal Law Article 3 - (30 - 39) REPORT OF FINANCIAL CONDITION § 30.

A copy is also supposed to be on file in the Town Clerk's office for review by the public. So we phoned the town clerk to request a copy for our review. Incidentally, this is the document that the Observer Dispatch reviewed and was the basis for their article that reported that the "rainy day" fund was depleted by $2.8 million.

In response to our phone call, the town clerk replied that she knew that she was supposed to have a copy on file, but she did not have one.

She didn't have one because the town had not filed the report as of June 1, month after the due date!

According to the NYS Comptroller's website:
Effective immediately all cities and counties, and those towns or villages with populations of 20,000 or more according to the 2000 federal census, now have up to 120 days after the close of their fiscal year to file their AUD. However, this is now a firm deadline [emphasis added]; there is no longer any flexibility given to OSC to extend the filing date beyond this period.
It is now June 8th, there was no Comptroller's AUD filed by May 1; we have been advised that the town is supposedly not in possesion of the 2009 and 2010 town financial audit that was supposed to be completed by D'Arcangelo by March 31, 2011; and Supervisor Tyksinski has no final figures as to the money that is owed to the General Fund in satisfaction of the money that was used to cover previous cost overruns in the New Hartford Police Fund.

In that same Observer Dispatch article previously mentioned, Supervisor Tyksinski is quoted as saying:
“To shift over some sales tax, I don’t think it’s going to hurt us,” he said.
When questioned for the article, Councilman Backman said:
...that would be a “questionable use of sales tax money.” He said the deficit needs to be made up by directly reducing expenses in the police budget – even if it takes a longer period of time.
We agree with Councilman Backman because according to note 8 on the bottom of page 13 of the State Comptroller's audit:
Because the police fund includes one village, it would not be considered a parttown fund.
That makes it questionable as to whether or not sales tax can be applied to the Police Fund.

The time to start working on the 2012 town budget is fast approaching. It's time to let taxpayers in on the financial condition of the town...we don't need any more surprises.

Where IS the beef Supervisor Tyksinski?


Anonymous said...

And yet, tysinski is giving the cops a raise?!

Anonymous said...

I heard that Dancing With The Stars called the Supervisor when they heard he was so adept at dancing around the issues. I know he will be a loser though since he really can't pull it off.He just doesn"t realize how bad he is.