Martin reports: School audit still not complete
WINSTED — Despite months of debate and reassurances of progress at various Board of Education meetings, Town Manager Dale Martin reported at the Board of Selectmen’s meeting on Monday, Nov. 7, that the Winchester School District’s audit for the 2009-10 school year had not been completed.The audit was due to the state on Dec. 31, 2010. At last report, the school district has had at least seven extensions with the state over the audit.Martin spoke about the audit after being asked by resident Joe Forester during the citizen’s comments portion of the selectmen’s meeting.“The most recent correspondence I had with Finance Director Henry Centrella is that the Board of Education needs to provide [town auditor Vanessa Rossitto] with further support documentation for transaction selections that were made,” Martin said. “Additional support documentation requests have been made to the Board of Education. Apparently, she is still awaiting additional information.”“I know that this is not the Board of Education, but can the Board of Selectmen do something?” Forester said. “How many years do we have to wait to get an audit done? There’s got to be something that the selectmen can legally do. This is ridiculous.”Later during public comment, resident and Board of Education candidate James Roberts said that Board of Education Chairman Susan Hoffnagle has been sending letters to newspapers stating that there is no problem with the audit.“She wrote that ‘I am delighted to report that there is no audit problem,’ ” Roberts said. “No audit problem? We have an audit problem, not to say the least that the audit has not been even delivered! She probably thought the letter would win her votes.”Roberts then asked Mayor Candy Perez and Selectman George Closson, both of whom are in the Democratic party along with Hoffnagle, if they condone lying by Board of Education members.“This is not a rhetorical question,” Roberts said. “People deserve to know what you stand for.”Closson responded that he did not take Roberts’ word that Hoffnagle made the statement.Closson and Roberts got into a brief argument until Perez broke it up.“As a citizen, you have a right to make comments,” Perez said. “But as selectmen, we don’t need to respond. If we did, it would get into a political battle. You have said your piece.”At a previous Board of Selectmen’s meeting on Oct. 17, Martin read an email from Rossitto that stated that the school district could not provide the information she needed.This included a corrected grant spreadsheet for the state and federal education grants.Superintendent of Schools Thomas Danehy did not return calls for comment.