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Archive for the ‘Village Treasurer’ Category

The Village Board of Trustees will be holding their regular monthly meeting this evening at 6:30 PM. A copy of their agenda can be viewed here.

Those wishing to try to listing in on the meeting can phone 508-924-1464.

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The recordings from October 26th Board of Trustees meeting have been released. Click here to access the link from the Village website.

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Our Village Board of Trustees meets tonight at 6:30 PM. A copy of their agenda can be viewed and downloaded here.

Social distancing and masks are required to attend the meeting. Those wishing to listen in can dial 508-924-1464.

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Recordings from the remotely orchestrated Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday night have been posted and can be accessed for your listening pleasure by clicking here.

At the beginning of Trustee Brian Cecola’s Public Safety report, he read a letter he entered in to the record that we felt we should post now in light of the events on Old Sutton Road three weeks ago today.

His letter reads as follows:

“I want take this opportunity as public safety chair to personally thank our officers for the fine work they did with this recent incident. I also want to thank our surrounding communities police tasks force without their assistance and support it would be impossible tb investigate and handle situations like this.

As the public may or may not be aware when we have incidents, we rely upon intergovernmental agreements with surrounding communities to support each other in investigations.

In a recent meeting with the village president and administrator and in conjunction with the treasurer and the Police Chief I am advocating to move forward with presenting the· costs associated with this investigation for immediate reimbursement from the property owner the rental company agencies and the responsible party who rented this property.

As you may all be aware this village board tasked our Village attorney with notifying the owner of their non-compliance which they did promptly days prior to this incident.

It appears the property owner and rental agencies ignored our Instructions even after they agreed days prior that they were in violation.

They did so at their peril and if we do not recover our taxpayer’s costs then I suggest we take immediate legal action to do so.”

Hopefully Police Chief Joseph Colditz will have much more to report on this incident very soon.

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Paula Jacobsen

The latest Village newsletter came out recently, and it mentions the results of the latest Village annual audit among other things. The sound financial position of our Village is noted, but what is absent of any narrative is how earlier this year, first term trustee Paula Jacobsen caused a potentially damaging accusation that caused the auditor to investigate that accusation.

One question Jacobson was asked to answer during the audit was:

“In your opinion, are there any areas of operation of the Village that do not receive enough oversight of management or board, or any particular weaknesses in internal controls?” 

Jacobsen checked off “Yes.” As a Trustee, she could have taken the opportunity beforehand to gather specific information and to offer a detailed explanation or perhaps even actual facts, but instead submitted her vague audit questionnaire on March 17, 2019 (perhaps hoping to disrupt the April 2 election?).

Jacobson had a wealth of resources at her disposal for weeks before if she had any questions whatsoever on completing her forms from the audit firm. She could have easily gathered information from the Village Treasurer, Director of Administration, Clerk or even the Trustee assigned to Finance, but she did not avail herself of those ample opportunities according to recordings. She could have provided an answer to the question she was asked instead of repeating an anonymous rumor told to her by some residents.

Instead, when asked why she answered “Yes” to the audit question, her initial answer was:

“While I don’t know that it is considered fraud, but some residents have claimed that contracts are being given to certain members of family of the Board, however, that is not evidence of guilt. I don’t know that we have a clear process to evaluate this if in fact this is happening.   I’m not aware of any contract awarded to a Board member.” 

The first thought that came to our minds upon hearing this was that of an immature four-year-old who answers the question “why did you eat those cookies?” with, “Someone said I could.”

Though asked repeatedly, Jacobson would not, or more probably could not offer any specificity to her unsubstantiated allegation, and at times her answers to Trustees questions on her inexplicable answer changed from one minute or meeting month to another.

For example, before the auditor was asked to read back her answer to the question in the presence of the Board, Jacobsen denied checking the “Yes” box repeatedly. She also denied making any claim or charge of process or fraud issues, and she only began to recant her statements once the village president asked the auditor to read them into the record.

Jacobson also stated on more than one occasion that she understood that her responses to all audit questions were private and would be kept anonymous.   Those wishing to listen to the recording of this exchange can do so by clicking here.

She followed up at the June Board of Trustees meeting by reading a written statement that actually reversed her position in May. She stated she believes that fraud and processes have been violated at the Village, and further she made a secondary allegation that the auditing firm was not independent thereby impugning the reputation of the village treasurer, the independent auditor and the finance chairman Mr. Croll and the Village board.

If this sounds pathetic, it is, and it goes on (and on). Rather than continue with what is basically transcribing her lunacy from recordings, we have a better solution for all involved.

The solution to this problem will be for the village to spend further taxpayer dollars to “investigate” the rumor that someone repeated to Jacobson, and then hopefully follow that by providing educational information to Jacobson on the importance and serious nature of the annual financial audit so that in the future she may confidently answer the audit questionnaire with facts instead of vague, unfounded rumor.

-The Observer

Related: Flip, Flop: What changed your minds Trustees Messer, Meroni, and Selman?  (August 30, 2011)

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