Auditor’s Report Released to School Board UPDATED

The school board was just given the auditor’s report for the year ending June 30, 2014. It was posted on our private members only site but here it is for “Timberlane consumers,” as our PR consultant would have us called:  2014 Timberlane – AUDITORS REPORT.pdf

We have received yet another adverse opinion for not accounting for our retiree benefits liabilities or depreciating our capital assets.  This year there was also some concern about two Title 1 requirements. The auditor’s letter and pages 25 on are of particular note.  I have asked the SAU for information on the non-cancellable lease that costs $25,000 a year for four photocopy machines mentioned on page 25.

It is hard to know just how significant any of the auditor’s findings are because the language of the report is factual and not at all evaluative or judgmental. In a few days when I’ve had a chance to read it in more depth, I’ll almost certainly post more comments about it. In the meantime, I will be asking my fellow board members to ensure this is put on the agenda for August 27 and to include the presence of the auditor so we may ask questions directly of her in person. (My request to this effect last year was refused by Mrs. Steenson.)

By the way, the report is dated June 17, 2015. Could it have been emailed to the SAU on June 18th in time for our last school board meeting (6/18) but somehow fell under the radar for twelve days? This report is due in November – before elections and deliberative – but here it is, seven months late.  Hear the school board yawn.

An email from Dr. Metzler on 6/30/15 at 8:18 am

Donna – So that you understand exactly when the report was received…it was on Friday the 26th of June at 4:50 p.m. The office closed at 4:30 p.m. I spent the weekend reviewing it so that I could have it for the Board on Monday the 29th.  To imply that it was received earlier and withheld from the Board is disrespectful, inaccurate and inappropriate.

Of course, it is not disrespectful and inappropriate to have an audit released nearly one year to the date of the end of the NEXT fiscal year. No, that’s perfectly appropriate, so let’s argue about something minor to change the subject. Keep in mind that Dr. Metzler is addressing his boss and a representative of the people of Sandown; furthermore, the audit is commissioned by and addressed to the TRSD, not the SAU, so it should never have been reviewed by Dr. Metzler before being sent to the body to whom it is addressed.


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