In response to Patty McGrath’s attempt to answer my questions in her letter to the editor in last week’s edition, Oct. 28-Nov. 4: Patty, first off, I say two books, you say two reports, isn’t that the same thing? Why two sets of financials? This has been the question since day one, over three months ago. You state that the simplest answer is that the town audit is not completed until after the town report is published. Let’s keep things simple, the dates of our financials were Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, so the financials stay the same. Page 1 of the independent town audit states that the audit is only an opinion of the financials provided to them by management. The financials are the management’s responsibility. When one reads page 1 of the town audit, then one would realize what an audit actually is. One would realize that management hands over the financials of the town and hires an independent auditor to give it a stamp of approval. When reading what an actual independent auditor actually does, one would find out that they only give an opinion on our financials.
In the letter last week, you give the impression that the Select Board and management wait for our independent auditor to tell us where we stand financially. Your response #3, where you point out that the Irene debt is not listed on page 7 since the exact number from the audit was not available, once again, management is responsible for the actual numbers to be audited. I can’t believe that the town is waiting for an audit to tell us what our actual financial status is. You mention that this is a debt that has already been paid for by ourselves, all my question ever asked was show me where in the town report it appears?
Somewhere in this response, you talk about the unassigned fund balance (or UFBs) at first you mention that the money really isn’t there. That the main driver of these funds is delinquent taxes. Patty, we do have a line item in our town report that includes delinquent taxes, according to Ron Smith in an article published by the Rutland Herald Dec. 19, 2011, a UFB is annual surpluses unspent that had accumulated over years, not some uncollected funds, as you stated.
You also state in 2010 that the town transitioned from modified cash accounting to accrual accounting to keep its financial records, yet later on you tell us that the town report is still being submitted on a cash basis. I thought the town transitioned to accrual to keep its financial records in order to meet generally accepted accounting principal (or GAAP). Patty, there truly is only one answer: the town should not have two sets of reports, or records or books for its financials.
Jim Haff, Killington