On March 15, 2023

Woodstock Village voters to decide on eliminating auditors

Staff report

Woodstock Village residents will vote to eliminate two elected auditor positions at the annual meeting March 21 and hire a public accountant or auditing  firm to review finances. 

“We’ve had a hard time finding people who want to run to be elected auditors,” Town Manager Eric Duffy said.

One auditor position is vacant and the other position, filled by Steven Stuntz, is up this year. Despite the elected positions, the Village has long employed an outside firm. This year’s audit was conducted by Mudgett Jennett & Krogh-Wisner, P.C. in Montpelier for around $15,000. The elected auditor then reviews the work. 

“It’s kind of doubling the work by reading what the auditors already put together,” Duffy said. “It’s a position that doesn’t need to exist going forward.”

Under Vermont law, auditors are required to adjust the accounts, report their findings in writing and distribute them to legal voters at least 10 days prior to the annual meeting. 

Trustee member Jeff Khan admitted the Village audit report was “late this year.” It wasn’t done in time for the annual report and still wasn’t done as of March 13, according to Khan.

The proposed $1,463,235.28 budget, of which $630,841.65 is to be raised by taxes, is up about 5% over the previous year’s budget. 

Khan said wages are up for police and administrative staff.

“With what inflation’s done this past year, we’re below that,” Khan said. 

Seton McIlory, who served as chair of the Trustees, and William Corson are both running for reelection with no challengers. 

Voting will be held by Australian ballot from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on March 21 at the Town Hall.

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