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#1393406 - 03/22/13 12:54 PM School officials faked encumbrances: audit
newsman38 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 4161
Loc: Fourth Estate
Wayne Central School District – Financial Management (2012M-229)

Over the last five years, District officials consistently underestimated revenues and overestimated expenditures in the adopted budgets by a total of $20.5 million.

As a result, the District had operating surpluses totaling $13.8 million, which caused the accumulated fund balance to exceed the statutory maximum of 4 percent of the ensuing year’s budget.

To make it appear that the fund balance was within statutory limits, District officials: appropriated $4.6 million in fund balance that was not needed to fund the budget, created fake encumbrances (by at least $3.1 million for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 years); and transferred approximately $14 million to the District’s reserves with no documented plan or justification for their excessive funding levels.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:
Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email: localgov@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236

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#1393434 - 03/22/13 03:13 PM Re: School officials faked encumbrances: audit [Re: newsman38]
Mean Gene Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/10/09
Posts: 2330
Loc: Yates County
Smoke & mirrors!! if it happens once, you could chalk it up to a mistake, it appears that five years in a row shows intent to deceive the public? Some heads should roll!!

I served on a school board for nine years, I was finance chair for at least one of the years. It felt like I was spoon fed info and kept in the dark. One year we spent a few months agonizing whether to cut an english teacher in the high school or an art teacher in the elementary because of a looming shortfall. The English position lost because they needed the art teacher who was a "push in" for the classroom teachers break time.
At the end of the year (after cutting the English position) we had a million dollar surplus that somehow magically appeared.
_________________________
"Rational arguments based upon ample evidence will not change the minds of irrational people"

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#1393514 - 03/23/13 02:31 AM Re: School officials faked encumbrances: audit [Re: Mean Gene]
VM Smith Offline
Diamond Member

Registered: 11/29/05
Posts: 37815
Loc: Ship of Fools
I think of local Vampires stocking up on blood, for the future, just in case the Zombies in Albany and Washington eat all of the tax payers.
_________________________
Every day is a beautiful day in East Tennessee.

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#1393562 - 03/23/13 04:12 PM Re: School officials faked encumbrances: audit [Re: VM Smith]
I did it! Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 1960
Loc: West Coast 29 Palms
That's amazing!
"transferred approximately $14 million to the District’s reserves with no documented plan or justification for their excessive funding levels"



Some one needs better math skills. Get it straight before it lines some one's pocket. That just might of been the intention to start with but they got caught instead.OH WELL DOESN"T
Good things for audits all I can say.
Yes I had to edit because I forgot the Period at the end of skills. Please forgive me?


Edited by I did it! (03/23/13 04:16 PM)
_________________________
“The manner in which it is given is worth more than the gift”.

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#1393636 - 03/24/13 12:08 PM Re: School officials faked encumbrances: audit [Re: I did it!]
Vigilant Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/24/13
Posts: 5
Loc: Wayne County
Please see Facebook page "Wayne Central School Taxpayers for Transparency".
There is much more to this story than only the audit report shows.
The WCSD has systematically harassed, obstructed and intimidated those of us who have worked tirelessly to FOIL documents, attend public meetings and provide information to the rest of the community.
The icing on the cake is that the Supt sent a response that basically thumbed the WCSD nose at the state, saying that WCSD can do whatever it wants because 'times are tough' and we want to provide a "world class education" for our kids. Really? Then why did they have to lie about it, forge documents, hide money and break state statutes while cutting things that benefit the kids?
Take a look at the website to see receipts for fancy dinners and hotels where they have stayed.

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#1393655 - 03/24/13 01:45 PM Re: School officials faked encumbrances: audit [Re: Vigilant]
twocats Offline
Silver Member

Registered: 02/09/10
Posts: 11865
Loc: NYS
I went to the Facebook page. Wow. It's sad that it takes that kind of oversight to get answers from the highest paid person in the District. Keep up the good work!
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#1393665 - 03/24/13 02:23 PM Re: School officials faked encumbrances: audit [Re: newsman38]
Vigilant Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/24/13
Posts: 5
Loc: Wayne County
Last spring, the school asked for the public to vote for a 15 million dollar capital improvement project to 'fix' things....not to actually build anything. Yet they had 18 million dollars in reserve less than 2 years before for a capital improvement plan that voters denied.
School systems and public entities that squander state and local tax revenues because 'everybody else is doing it' and 'if we don't take it, those big schools in Long Island will take the money' are part of the reason that NY state is so heavily taxed and so damn broke. There are school districts and public institutions that take very seriously their responsibility to the working people who are paying the bills....WCSD is NOT one of them!

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#1393675 - 03/24/13 03:46 PM Re: School officials faked encumbrances: audit [Re: Mean Gene]
Vigilant Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/24/13
Posts: 5
Loc: Wayne County
The audit only covered less than 5 years...more than 20 million dollars in that time period alone. Imagine what has been taken in the time period before that. Think about what a town could do with 20 million dollars back in it's pockets.....

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#1393796 - 03/25/13 03:29 PM Re: School officials faked encumbrances: audit [Re: Vigilant]
I did it! Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 1960
Loc: West Coast 29 Palms
They should contact these people and see how it's done.
"Some over site I'd say!"

We all need a CPA now.

Wayne Central School District – Financial Management (2012M-229)

Over the last five years, District officials consistently underestimated revenues and overestimated expenditures in the adopted budgets by a total of $20.5 million.

As a result, the District had operating surpluses totaling $13.8 million, which caused the accumulated fund balance to exceed the statutory maximum of 4 percent of the ensuing year’s budget.

To make it appear that the fund balance was within statutory limits, District officials: appropriated $4.6 million in fund balance that was not needed to fund the budget, created fake encumbrances (by at least $3.1 million for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 years); and transferred approximately $14 million to the District’s reserves with no documented plan or justification for their excessive funding levels.
_________________________
“The manner in which it is given is worth more than the gift”.

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#1394556 - 03/29/13 08:36 AM Re: School officials faked encumbrances: audit [Re: newsman38]
Vigilant Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/24/13
Posts: 5
Loc: Wayne County
The Wayne Central School District continues to act defiantly to their community and to the news media.
The news media was asked to remove their cameras from last night's BOE meeting, which is contrary to law.
When multiple taxpayers expressed their anger and disappointment regarding mismanagement and dishonesty, the BOE VP Hibbard response was "we do everything we do for the kids".

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#1394720 - 03/30/13 07:20 AM Re: School officials faked encumbrances: audit [Re: twocats]
VM Smith Offline
Diamond Member

Registered: 11/29/05
Posts: 37815
Loc: Ship of Fools
Quote:
It's sad that it takes that kind of oversight to get answers from the highest paid person in the District.


As you have often so correctly and rightly pointed out, it's the freaking admins...a pox upon their houses, unto the 7th generation!
_________________________
Every day is a beautiful day in East Tennessee.

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#1401343 - 05/13/13 12:59 PM Re: School officials faked encumbrances: audit [Re: Vigilant]
newsman38 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 4161
Loc: Fourth Estate
Officials at Wayne Central taken to task: Ontario woman submits 941 requests for information from Wayne school district

There are government watchdogs, and then there’s Patty Affronti.

Since September 2011, the town of Ontario woman has filed 941 Freedom of Information requests with the Wayne Central School District, requesting employment applications, personal emails and barbecue receipts in a relentless quest to catch the district lying, stealing or otherwise out of line. It’s one smoldering front in a war between the district, which was criticized severely for its opacity in a recent state audit, and a troop of tenacious residents led by Affronti, who some say has gone too far with her FOIL guerrilla warfare.

According to Affronti, her crusade began in the fall of 2011 when she learned that her son’s high school wrestling team would not be receiving warmup sweatpants because there was no money for them in the budget. Another parent told her she could submit a Freedom of Information request with the district for the athletic department budget to see where the money was going.

In retrospect, the school would have been wise to spring for the sweatpants.

From Sept. 20, 2011, until April 23 of this year, Affronti filed an average of 11.3 FOIL requests a week with the district, 941 in total, and paid nearly $1,000 in copying fees at a quarter a page. By comparison, the district received 70 in that time frame from all other sources combined, according to its log.

The requests range from sweeping (the serial number and location of every computer in the district office) to the specific (records of one particular transaction under a defined budget line). Some concern multimillion-dollar budget transfers and district policies and evaluations, but several are for seemingly trivial expenses, such as a January 2012 request for a $19 receipt from Applebee’s.

Some ask for emails about Affronti herself and the cost of her FOILs, which the district has brought up specifically in meetings. It is difficult to discern a common thread going through all the requests, but Affronti says she believes the district is spending too much on conferences and office furniture and not enough on students....

“We’ve been painted as some sort of pariahs for pushing the envelope with the school to be more transparent, but the public has a right to this information,” she said. “The members of this community have a right to demand good value for our dollar.”

Affronti and Freischlag point to a recently released state comptroller’s audit that accused the district of using budgeting tricks and misdirection to overtax residents by more than $20 million over the last five years.

The district disputed the findings, then barred the doors to television cameras at its next board meeting. It apologized afterward for the “error in judgment.”

May 13, 2013 11:12 AM
Written by
Justin Murphy
Staff writer

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#1401456 - 05/14/13 10:01 AM Re: School officials faked encumbrances: audit [Re: newsman38]
Sketch Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/07/12
Posts: 609
Loc: NYS
Yuppers. Affronti may be our own Bluezone in hiding.

She certainly has a lot of time on her hands in her effort to take down the district.
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Do what you have to do...

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#1401787 - 05/16/13 09:51 PM Re: School officials faked encumbrances: audit [Re: newsman38]
Vigilant Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/24/13
Posts: 5
Loc: Wayne County
What the article did not report were the multiple FOILS that were not necessary but required by the district when community members were seeking answers. Many questions were asked of the administration in order to ferret out information that led to the NYS OSC audit....instead of DO admin answering questions, they replied 'you'll have to FOIL that info'. Additionally, many submitted FOILS were denied and forced to be re FOIL'd due to miniscule errors (spelling, etc), thus causing more FOILS to be generated. Roughly only 40% of the requested FOILs were completed. The school DO response was to promote the FOILs as the 'source' of all the school problems. Even after the release of the NYS OSC it has
continued to be pushed on to the community as such, in an effort to divert the attention from the DO's unethical activities in both finances and the lack of appropriate response to the community members who were the whistleblowers. Sordid.

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