Carver Little Dig
No Free Speech
Ins. Gen. Report
Ben Ellis School
Top Cop No Vote
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
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
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
“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
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: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, July 16, 2007 11:04 AM
To: DOR DLS Law
Subject: Finance Committee Reserve Fund
question relates to reserve fund requests made at or near year end:
finance committee vote or re-vote a reserve fund transfer after July
15, 2007 for bills relating to FY 2007?
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
– A Vote was not taken pending further information.
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.
Finance Committee re-address this issue and re-vote after July 15th?
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
Bureau of Municipal Finance Law
PO Box 9569
Boston, MA 02114-9569
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?
03/19/2015 03:44 PM