Press-Republican

May 14, 2013

Letters to the Editor: May 14, 2013


Press-Republican

---- — Fund balance

TO THE EDITOR: The Press-Republican has published multiple articles regarding the Beekmantown Central School District fund balance.

My husband and I have lived in the community for approximately 25 years and attend as many of the board meetings as we can. I have a hard time understanding where the $10 million surplus the school had three years ago was spent.

We have asked time and time again for public disclosure or future plans for the use of the excess fund balance. Our comments and questions have gone unanswered.

The money was certainly not used to benefit district taxpayers, elderly citizens of Beekmantown who lost their homes or had to move because of high taxes or citizens who are living on a fixed income.

It was not used to reduce taxes, pay off debt or for one-time expenditures. Can anyone from the old board tell us what has happened to it? Probably not.

Last year, three new members were elected to the board. They have tried to be transparent by asking questions but oftentimes they don’t receive answers. They hit roadblocks with members of the old board, and then it becomes “business as usual.” We need more change.

Please vote for Andy Brockway, Kenneth Maurer Sr. and Mike Hagadorn.

They will work with the current board to open lines of communication, promote better sharing of information and increase transparency.

They, with the three newest members, will be team players and will look for ways to find sustainable savings for the district. They will work hard to contain costs and still ensure that our students will be offered a good education.

I want to have a voice and feel I am being heard, don’t you? I don’t want business as usual again. Please get out and vote.

PATRICIA LaFLAM

Beekmantown

 

Beekmantown balance

TO THE EDITOR: On March 31, 2010, the NYS Comptroller’s Report showed Beekmantown Central School had a fund balance that was too large: $10 million over the legal limit.

District officials were advised: “use the excess fund balance in a manner that benefits district taxpayers, and the use of this surplus should be done through the budget process with public disclosure.”

Three years ago, the excess fund balance was over $10 million and by July 2013 it will be less than $1,000. There was no public disclosure or plan illustrating the intended use of the excess funds.

The money was not used to benefit district taxpayers. It was not used to reduce taxes, pay off debt or one-time expenditures. Instead, it was used to prop up one unsustainable budget after another.

This was not the way it was supposed to be spent, and that’s the problem. It was spent without a plan, without disclosure, without transparency and irresponsibly. Now the money is gone, so how will we prop up the budget next year?

In less than one year, BCS will begin another budget process. We will start the 2014-15 budget nearly $2 million in the hole. This will jeopardize educational programs, jobs and threaten property owners with much higher taxes.

Ten million dollars was a large cushion to be mismanaged. Last year, we worked together to put three new members on the BCS Board. We need to do the same thing this year.

Please join me in supporting Andy Brockway, Kenneth Maurer Sr. and Mike Hagadorn. 

Information on the candidates is available at http://www.unitedforthekids.org.

 Please vote on Tuesday, May 21.

DIANE KWARTA

Beekmantown