Concerned Carver Citizens

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Master Plan Town Meeting Calendar Links

Financial Mismanagement & Cover-up Costs Carver TaxPayer $101,150.74


Midnight contracts, backroom deals and now $100,000 in illegal spending where will it stop. Laws are meant to be followed not broken. Read through the entire sequence of events because it gets worse as events unfold.

On July 9, 2007 John Adams Wrote the finance committee “The town has incurred $101,150.74 in legal bills over the 108,831.50 already budgeted”….”I have attached a copy of the law regarding budget transfers.”

 Adams summer reading also should have included a copy of the law that states that you cannot overspend a Town Meeting appropriation Chapter 44: Section 31. Liabilities in excess of appropriations forbidden; exceptions. It states “Section 31. “No department financed by municipal revenue, or in whole or in part by taxation, of any city or town, except Boston, shall incur a liability in excess of the appropriation”

Overspending an account by 100 percent of the appropriation is no accident. Both Adams and LaFond knew that the legal budget had been overspent since February. They simply stopped sending the bills through for payment. Adams summer reading should have included a copy of  Chapter 41: Section 58. Duties; notice of condition of appropriations; record of appropriations

 Section 58. Whenever any appropriation shall have been expended or whenever, in the judgment of the town accountant, it appears that the liabilities incurred against any appropriation may be in excess of the unexpended balance thereof, he shall immediately notify the selectmen and the board, committee, head of department or officer authorized to make expenditures therefrom, and no claim against such appropriation shall be allowed nor any further liability incurred until the town makes provision for its payment.

Once the account had been overspent the law provides for specific means to replenish the account and pay the bills. Chapter 44: Section 64. Payment of bills incurred in excess of appropriations

 Section 64. “Any town or city having unpaid bills of previous fiscal years which may be legally unenforceable due to the insufficiency of an appropriation in the year in which such bills were incurred may, in the case of a town, at an annual meeting by a four fifths vote, or at a special meeting by a nine tenths vote, of the voters present and voting at a meeting duly called,”

Carver held both Annual and Special Town Meetings at which the expenditures should have been replenished but LaFond and Adams preferred to seek transfers out of the view of the public. Why did they keep this illegal over expenditure of funds off the Town Meeting Warrants?

 On July 13th 2007 the Finance Committee met and refused to approve the transfers Adams requested. Neither Town Accountant John Adams nor Town Administrator LaFond bothered to attend the Finance committees meeting. Apparently a $100,000 error does not warrant explanation by senior officials especially when their actions would have been subject to questioning.

 On Monday July 16th Adams tried to circumvent the deadline for year end transfers. He sent the following email to the Department of Revenue for advice.

From: john.adams@carverma.org [mailto:john.adams@carverma.org]
Sent: Monday, July 16, 2007 11:04 AM
To: DOR DLS Law
Subject: Finance Committee Reserve Fund

Hello:

This question relates to reserve fund requests made at or near year end:

May a finance committee vote or re-vote a reserve fund transfer after July 15, 2007 for bills relating to FY 2007?

Two reserve fund requests for legal bills were made to the Finance committee, one in June the other in July prior to July 15th. The finance committee has met on the issue twice as summarized below:

 July 9th – A Vote was not taken pending further information.

 July 13th – One was voted 2-2 and the other was voted 0-4 tabled until we find out what type of controls will be put in place to alert this type of over spending again. 

 May the Finance Committee re-address this issue and re-vote after July 15th?

 John:

 Finance Committee reserve funds are annual appropriations under GL c. 40, §6 and close out at year's end.  As an accommodation for end of year clean-up, and based on the language of GL c. 44, §56 authorizing the treasurer until July 15 to enter on his books all items for payment of bills and wages incurred in the previous year, we have concluded that the finance committee has until July 15 to make end of year transfers to cover any such bills and wages from which the appropriation item is in deficit.  The rule has not been extended to any later date, since there is no statutory basis for the rule, except that under GL c. 4, §9 the committee may arguably transfer the funds on July 16 when July 15 falls on a Sunday or legal holiday, such as in this year.

 

I hope this addresses your concerns.

 

Gary A. Blau, Tax Counsel
Bureau of Municipal Finance Law
PO Box 9569
Boston, MA 02114-9569
617-626-2400
blau@dor.state.ma.us

Adams appeared before the Fin Comm. after  July 16 to argue for a reserve fund transfer. What part of Mr. Blau’s response didn’t he understand?

Seeking legal advice and proceeding against that advice is inappropriate and deceptive.

Fortunately for our Town the Finance Committee insisted upon presenting this issue to Town Meeting for consideration.  What new checks and balances have been put in place to prevent this type of impropriety in the future?


Last Updated 03/19/2015 03:44 PM

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