Monday, September 16, 2013

Comptroller Report for the Town finances under the Haskell Administration

Below please find the Report of Examination for the period of January 1, 2007 - December 31, 2008.

Please feel free to make comments after you have read this and we can have a general discussion about it.


  1. After reading this report, how can ANYONE honestly think this man should be allowed back into office??? It would be interesting to see how the budget and employee time cards and benefits are being handled with the current administration, to make the BEST decision for the Town of Thurman, one needs to simply read these NYS reports and see how fraudulent this town government was. People complain how bad things are now, but where were they when funds were being "stockpiled" and the taxes raised to pay for operations that already had funds to cover them. No one should be allowed back into an office that they were convicted and jailed for lying to the board to better serve themselves. This was a FELONY!! It is time to think with your heads and use common sense. There are not two sets of laws, even though some people think there are.... ones for them and ones for everyone else...

    1. Thank you for your comment on this blog. We hope that others will contribute their opinions as well, which can be done anonymously. We are in the process of obtaining the Comptrollers Report for our current Supervisor and hope to have it up shortly.

  2. Haskell is a felon! He cannot vote, why should he be able to run! The good ole days are gone. We need to go on with honesty and integrity, not "Cause this is the way weve always done it" Put me on as a write in if it would keep him out!

  3. Many of you may have already noticed, you need to have a gmail account to add your comment to this discussion group. We did not design the site this way it is just how Google designed it. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

  4. We have better checks in place for the leave and employee pay now. Each week the supervisor reviews the time cards and notes any issues, then the bookkeeper checks the time cards along with any of the supervisor's notes against the records we keep in the office, and finally the Town Supervisor checks them again before signing the checks each week. We keep an annual accounting (updated weekly)which tracks leave use as well. My office also tracks overtime as well. As for the budget, we now comply with the law and include the exemption report, a estimate of fund balance expected at the end of the year and a statement of debt (we have none). All of those things should have been in the budget right along but weren't. In addition to these items the board follows the process for budget adoption set by law, including the filing of the tax levy cap submission prior to budget adoption each year. Also, it is important to note that the Board now reviews every bill and signs each and every voucher which is submitted for payment, as well as the abstract of claims. In one of the Comptroller's training classes we were told every Board should be doing this and so I instituted the practice at the beginning of this year. It is time consuming but it also ensures we look at every bill prior to payment. We also audit the Town Supervisor, Town Clerk, Tax Collector, and Justice Court every year as required by law. This was not done prior to my election in 2010.

  5. Thank you for your reply.... So people would rather have someone in office that not only miss managed the books and let the employees do pretty much what they wanted,lied to the board for his own gain, was arrested and served jail time, carries a felony, back into office??? When they now have someone that holds people accountable for their responsibilities, keeps the accounts in check, double checks that everything is being done according to the law?? This good ol' boy mentality has got to stop. With so much corruption in the government these days, we need to keep everything in check, not take a trip backwards in the time capsule....

  6. All that matters is what the majority of Thurman residents think. John Haskell did get back his right to vote. And his right to run for office was upheld by the Board of Elections. And the Republicans have no choice but to back him, because that's how the process works. They don't get to choose, they have to back the majority. And the town records were not part of the felony.
    The Town of Thurman DID NOT have to enter into a contract with Warrensburg EMS, costing the taxpayers $80,000.00. Warrensburg EMS has a C.O.N. (certificate of need) for the Town of Thurman and is on automatic mutual aid. They have an OBLIGATION to RESPOND to Thurman Through New York State.
    Most Thurman residents want an ambulance response that is quick and local. Wood doesn't. So she goes to an out-of-town EMS (Warrensburg) that charges high fees and sends bills that can be turned over to a collection agency.
    At the August meeting of the Town Board, a local resident described a 17 and 1/2 mile Warrensburg EMS ambulance ride given his wife from the Warrensburg Firehouse to Glens Falls Hospital. The charge was over $1,100 in a hard bill. Imagine the cost if it had been from Thurman. The Supervisor failed to perform due diligence. She did not examine the deal offered by Warrensburg. She claims that she could not legally ask questions. Nonsense, She could have asked about anything she needed to know. She couldn’t force the Warrensburg EMS to bill one way or another. But she sure could have been able to answers.
    Thurman residents and taxpayers need a supervisor who will stand up for their tax dollars.
    Wood claims tax savings, but doesn't mention the $80,000 Thurman taxpayers are paying to Warrensburg EMS, and that figure is just a retainer. And furthermore, the budget submitted to the Town of Thurman indicated Thurman E.M.S. annual expenses at $115,000.00, between fundraising and billing revenue we forecast approximately $40,000.00, at least. We were asking the Town to make up the difference. The $115,000 was now STUCK in the town of Thurmans Residents mind no matter what. When the Town Board offered $62,000.00 to the Thurman E.M.S., we accepted, but heard nothing further, and approximately within the following two weeks, the Town of Thurman signed with Warrensburg. What happened to the $62,000.00 offer?
    As far as the trash removal, it is my understanding, as related by persons far more experienced in such financial matters than our Town Board, the trash removal was INCLUDED in the property tax assessment, not ADDED to it. And the tax assessment was not reduced to reflect this reduction when trash removal was discontinued. Rather so, the residents had to pay for their bags and bring their own trash to the dump. And only at the hours convenient to the Town. So it now appears that we are being double billed for our trash removal.
    So please KNOW what you are talking about BEFORE you Speak, either Vocally OR written.

    1. This entry is being fact checked, as there is no backing for the claims made.

    2. I hope that anyone reading this takes the time to read Evelyn Wood's reply and then contact her with any questions, doubts or concerns. She can and will back up what she says with facts rather than the innuendos and unfounded rumors that distort the truth.

  7. Previous message was removed due to inappropriate content.
    The rules are clearly stated on our first entry, "Our Purpose".
    Further violations will result in the writer being removed from the blog.

  8. A citizen has every right to vote for any candidate they wish, it is one of our most basic rights as Americans. No one can - or should- have 'no choice' in who they vote for. The citizens of the Town are certainly capable of making their own choices when they vote. I believe Mrs. Wallace misunderstood the recent Post Star article, the by laws of a committee apply to the committee members not to the citizens.
    The Town Supervisor is the Chief Financial Officer of the Town, and they serve as the budget officer. Financial responsibilities are primary duty of the Supervisor. Knowledge of how a candidate has performed their primary duties allows the public to make informed decisions.
    The contract between the Town and Warrensburg EMS required much time, research, review and negotiation in its preparation. It was thoroughly reviewed by both the Town's Attorney and the Town Board. The contract is for two years, $30,000 this year, $50,000 in 2014 for and ALS level of coverage. As for the billing, the Warrensburg Squad indicated they intended to bill for service (both Thurman EMS and Warrensburg EMS had been billing residents in the prior year)and Warrensburg EMS provided a fee schedule which was included in the contract. The Town Board followed the process set by law in the approval of the contract. The Town has no 'retainer', I note that members of Thurman EMS frequently refer to the contract as a retainer, but it is not. The Town of Thurman has a two year contract for emergency medical service with Warrensburg EMS.
    As for the reference to the budget submitted in the fall of 2012 to the Town by Thurman EMS, there were multiple concerns on the part of the Town Board when it examined the funding request. Billing revenue was overestimated, and there was a notable funding gap with no source of funding and no explanation as to how the gap would be covered. Anyone who would like to have a look at the proposal submitted to the Town can come into the office and I will be happy to show them the documentation and discuss the matter further as there are a number of details associated with the issue. I would also note that the funding increase the Thurman EMS requested would have caused the Town to exceed the Tax Levy Cap and increase taxes substantially.
    I have run out of characters, and will continue in a second post.

  9. Part 2:
    The Town Board never offered the Thurman EMS $62,000. A councilman made a motion to offer $62,000, however the motion failed and the offer was not made. The Board meeting minutes from February's meeting confirm that the motion failed.
    Unfortunately Mrs. Wallace was given incorrect information regarding trash removal being included in the property assessment. A property's assessment is set by the Assessors, the Town Board has nothing to do with assessment. That is what our elected assessors do. Assessed value is the value of a piece of property, anyone who thinks they are over assessed can see the assessors regarding their concerns, if they are still unhappy the property owner can grieve their assessment at grievance day which is held each May. The Board adopts a budget each year, the amount of the tax levy influences the tax rate. Adding or removing an item from the budget would have no affect on the assessed value of property. Trash pick up was a part of the tax levy not the property assessment. If anyone needs help understanding the difference between the assessed value, the tax rate, the tax levy, or has other questions regarding the process please contact me I would be happy to explain further.
    Finally, the transfer station must have set hours of operation. We must have the transfer station attended by staff when it is open to the public. The proposed hours were submitted to DEC in our application for a transfer station. Unregulated use of the facility would not be acceptable to the DEC and would result in the loss of our Town's permit and closure of the transfer station which would be an unnecessary hardship for the people of the Town. I have been actively tracking use of the transfer station to ensure that it is open sufficiently to meet the needs of the public and will continue to do so.
    Again, and as always I encourage anyone with questions to contact me.