Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Speculator plans fresh start for fiscal data

Speculator VB July 22 2019

Speculator plans fresh start for fiscal data
By Pete Klein
SPECULATOR—When the Speculator Village Board of Trustees met on July 22,
Business Manager-Deputy Clerk Claire Craven reported that at this time she had no indication there was anything untoward regarding overall village expenditures and receipts; however, when anyone performs a job for over 30 years they have unique processes and make multiple entries and notes that only they would need to understand, given they were the only one that looked at the data.
After two months of rechecking every manual ledger back to June of 2018 to try and follow all the notes and work within the multiple pathways of transfers between general, sewer, water and trust accounts in the accounting software, she could not with 100% certainty stand before the board and give a full accounting.
It was recommended with the new software implementation over the next two weeks, the village make a clean break and start fresh with 2019-20 fiscal year data.
The board agreed to the recommendation of the Bonadio group to complete the annual report due to the state of New York for a fee of $3,000.
Trustee Letty Rudes made a motion to have the Bonadio group complete the annual report within the previously approved $10,000 audit budget if possible. The motion was seconded by Trustee Eric Craven and passed unanimously.
Rudes recommended the village have a full audit done so it can have an independent review of the financials given the former clerk had been in the position for over 30 years and the last audit of any financials was when the Village owned and operated Oak Mountain many years ago.
Rudes made a motion for a full audit to be conducted by either the Comptroller’s office, or a private firm if funding can be secured. Craven seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
After receiving a letter from the Village regarding imputed income on over age 26 medical insurance, a former employee and spouse came to Village Hall today indicating they had never authorized their child be added back into their Village-provided medical coverage beginning January 2014 after he had been removed in May 2013 when turning 26; and that the child was not living in their home and was insured by his own employer from 2014-2017.
In response to Rudes’ questions, payroll information shows the reduced payroll deductions when the child was removed 5/31/2013 but then the deductions increased back to family coverage on 1/1/2014 until 6/2017; and there was a letter from the former Clerk-Treasurer to the former employee in his personnel file noting the child was dropped in 5/2013 but no documentation noting a reversal in 2014. MVP is being contacted for any documentation and the board will be kept apprised of the situation.
Highway Superintendent Roger Blanchard Jr. reported as follows:
An accident report was filed today for an employee stung by bees and transported to the hospital; he was treated and expected back to work tomorrow.
CHIPS reimbursements should be in process for Marion Avenue.
Overtime being reviewed and managed to stay within annual budget.
LED Street Lights - Revised financials have been received by NYPA and are under review by the Finance Committee in preparation for further Board discussion soon.
Trustees will come to the office to have their personal devices prepped for the new email system.
A motion was made by McComb and seconded by Rudes to accept the email policy as presented.  The motion passed unanimously.
A first draft of a Vendor Licensing Local Law is under review by the board.
The proposed law was discussed at length noting it would provide a framework to allow the Village to consider licensing for-profit vendors who are not Village-based established businesses to sell items at Village sanctioned events. The intent would be to attract and support patrons to Village events without economically advantaging vendors who do not have the fixed cost of Village taxes compared to local “brick and mortar” businesses have the fixed cost burden of Village taxes – the discussion of the board at its next meeting will be to determine the appropriate licensing fee structure in consideration of the differences in fixed costs.
Lynne Brown commended the village for picking up after the fireworks and parade this year. She also thanked the village for the continued efforts at maintaining the Point and the placement of the new handicap accessible table. Collie Smith also commented on the cleanliness of the village after the festivities.
Neil McGovern requested the village join the town and county in emailing and calling DOT contacts to ensure timely repair of the large potholes on Route 30 coming into Speculator due to safety concerns. He also asked the board to look closely into the payout of the LED light proposal and complimented the board in adopting the new Email Policy and considering the Vendor Licensing Law.

Editor Note: Story based on the minutes from Crystal O’Brien, Village Clerk - Treasurer

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