Board of Finance chair: Treasurer's report still has 'many errors'

Board of Finance Chairwoman Elaine Hammers told The Times Monday that Town Treasurer Anthony Musto's financial report for the month of March, which were presented to the board on April 14, was "careless and sloppy and unacceptable."

In his defense, Musto said Monday that he attached a draft of the official report, and that he would send the board an updated version this.

Hammers told The Times she received the revised copy Wednesday, April 20, but reported in an email to Musto "that there are many errors and inaccuracies in this report that make a material difference."

"Some are minor, some major and some just questions," she said in the email to the treasurer.

The errors in the revised report included:

  1. Both the February and March reports show prior fiscal year as 2015-2016 instead of 2014-2015 and use January in the heading -  please correct this so that when they are posted on the town website with our minutes they are correct.

  2. On line 11 - Morgan Stanley Investments, if you add the March interest income ($5,412) to the February interest income YTD total ($56,353) the correct 9 month year to date total is $61,765 not $61,749.

  3. Regarding the STIF account: A) At the meeting you indicated you  had not made any bond payments as was reflected in the original report numbers.  Can we assume that the decrease now reflected from February ($6,829,470) to March ($5,740,166) is due to a bond payment?  B) Did the interest rate drop from 0.38% to 0.30% in a market where interest rates are not fluctuating much or is this a typo?  C)  If you take the February YTD interest total of $10,704 and add the March interest of $2,905 the March YTD total should be $12,799 not $11,816 as stated in your finalized report.

  4. Is the $1,488,608 in the TD Bank - Tax Rec'r account sufficient to offset the fees we are charged?

  5. Is it correct that both the February and March TD Bank - Investment accounts are exactly the same?  Both months show a balance of $24,643,882 with interest income of $10,736.  Is the February and/or March correct and if only one of them what are the correct amounts for the incorrect month?  Also the YTD interest income for that account doesn't change from February to March which cannot be correct since that is the largest account we hold and the one which generally yields the most interest.

  6. In the Infinex (FF Cty Bank) Money Market you show both in February and March a balance of $403,067.  Why would you leave so much money in a non-interest bearing account and not purchase additional CDs?  While the maximum CD you can purchase is $250,000  I believe you can also purchase smaller denominations of $100,000.

  7. In the first version of the March report you showed a total cash balance at month end of $57,206,119 and now you show $45,334,217.  Where did the $11,871,902 difference go or how could the first report been so far off?

  8. If I take the 8 month YTD  total interest from the February report ($262,689) and add the interest ($28,948) from your finalized March report I get a total YTD interest of $291,637 not $279,902 as you show.  This is a significant discrepancy of $11,735 which needs to be explained.

  9. Lastly, while the individual cells on the your March finalized report for the interest column and total YTD interest column add up to the totals on your bottom line, the 9 month YTD total does not agree to the February report totals which raises serious concerns as to which, if either, report is correct.

"Some of these errors are a major concern for the Board of Finance members since we rely on this to give us an accurate representation of both cash and interest earned as well as judge whether or not our revenue projection is on target," she explained.

"As a result of these discrepancies I am asking our internal auditor to review all Treasurer reports prior to distribution to us," Hammers said. "We are unpaid volunteers and shouldn't have to spend this amount of time reviewing a report prepared by a paid town official.

"Frankly, after your presentation last Thursday and the exposure of the errors, I would have thought you'd review this report more carefully before sending it to us with this many errors."