Earlier in July, Mr. Haff asked why the Town Report doesn’t show a deficit with flood funding and FEMA in the Town Report like the auditor’s report does?
I answered his question in my July 29th letter to the Mountain Times (see “Killington Selectboard Chair addresses flood financing plans, transparency” on their website). Since, Mr. Haff asked the same question again in the Aug. 5th paper, I will refer him to my previous letter and provide additional information here:
Mr. Haff is comparing two different reports, the Town Audit and the Town Report, and asking why some information in the Audit is not contained in the Town Report. The short answer is that:
(1) These are different reports (ranging from 65-100 pages each) having different purposes, that contain different information.
(2) The Town Audit is published after the Town Report and Town Meeting so it would not be feasible to have the audit numbers in that year’s Town report. Only the 2013 audit numbers were available and those were out of date.
(3) These specific numbers, the Irene costs which were not paid by FEMA, were brought up by the Select Board at both the March 2014 and March 2015 Town Meetings as they were important to understanding our cash flow issues. The numbers may not have been exact as the audit, however this March I made it very clear that the Town’s portion of Irene expenses (that we owed to ourselves) were between $800K and $950K. In addition, our auditor attended that meeting to further clarify the issue for anyone who had questions.
Mr. Haff says he “expects our Town financials to include ALL our receipts and debt” and that he would expect certain financial numbers to (not?) be backed out so that he would (not?) have to seek it from another source.”
My response is that no one is hiding anything and nothing was “backed out.” Our financials do include all receipts and debts, and they are all located in one source: the town website.
The issue here is not one of transparency.
Transparency means that all the information be made available to the public, not that each person gets the information packaged the way he or she would like to see it. Again, the town financials are all available to anyone who wants to see them at killingtontown.com. And if Mr. Haff or other residents have questions on this information, I encourage them to come to a Select Board meeting or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(This letter is based on my impressions and are not approved of, nor have been reviewed by the full board.)
Thank you for your time and consideration,
Patty McGrath, Killington Selectboard Chair