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Here’s The Scoop … $93,000 Found? … That is The Question …. Or Was It … Much Ado About Nothing ….


Dear Readers… The comments made last Wednesday by Commissioner Vincent regarding his concerns about the budget and stating  “There was a $93,000 overage” found in special events in 2009 were quite something and perked up the ears of many listening …including this writer… Especially this writer…due in part to the many times I have posted and looked at the special events budget over the last few years when comparing various events ….especially 4th of July.. after claims of a huge savings were being shouted out from those in pre- 2010 electioneering mode and now out of the picture in 2009 as well as looking at the justification sheets to see where monies were being steered to different departments only to end up in the unencumbered funds portion of the budget for the administration to use in any way it sees fit for the last 3 months of the governmental year, as we observed in those prior years …  I am told that others in the know, whether they themselves have looked into the same backup or participated over the years in the planning and execution of the Town’s special events were  baffled by Comm. Vincent’s assertions ….stating due to the known allotted amounts for each special event specifically being discussed in years 2008 and 2009  during  the budget process …(prev. posts/Town website archives)…. it could not be so ……there was a $93,000 overage that went unnoticed …. In my previous post on the meeting, I stated I made a request to the Town to check it out… and below are the requests made and the responses from town.. …Thus, the reference to the above plays from Shakespeare came to this writer as a result of those findings…


Commissioner Vincent verbatim – Commissioner Comments Aug. 25, 2010…

“In regards to the budget, I’d like Ms. Hoffmann to correct me if I don’t have this right, but ah, during my budget review with the staff last month one of the items of question of concern was a large amount of dollars that were budgeted for special events for the two previous years of 08,09. Roughly $125,000 one year and $140,000 in in 09. It raised my concern due to the fact that we budgeted less than half of that for the current year and next year year roughly $64,000. Although I’m happy with the lesser amount budgeted I still wanted to know why that huge difference. So I asked Ms. Hoffmann to investigate and explain the disparity to the years budgeted in the previous. What was found was the amended budget for 08 and 9 was $141,000 when it was actually $47,000. There was a $93,000 overage in that General Account, I believe, and could not be explained earlier when the budget review process started and that’s when we found it. This is just an example of one of the many things that the Commission and staff is dealing with and I would like to personally thank Ms. Hoffmann and Mr. Bentley for their continuing hard work and dedication in working with this Commission.”


My request below…

Hello, could you provide me with further explanation on Comm. Vincent’s comments made at the Aug. 25th Comm. mtg. concerning the “$93,000 overage” found in the “General Account” concerning the 2008 & 2009 “special events”..


The Town’s  response….

“He was talking about the special events account in the Recreation Department budget. If you look at the budget worksheet, it indicates that the actual expenditures in FY 2008/2009 were $141,173. Comm. Vincent asked me how the Town could have spent that much money on special events the year before, yet I was only asking for $64,000 next year. In researching the answer to his question, I found out that the $141,173 was the budgeted amount for that account, not the actual expense. The former Finance Director had apparently mislabeled the column when she prepared the worksheets. The actual expenses were only $47,450, a difference of $93,723 from the $141,173, so I believe that is what Comm. Vincent was referring to.”


This writer responded back to the Town the following…

“Ok, because I recall the special events were higher prior to 2008 due to the July 4th event which included lots of extras such as advertising a professional marketer and before that a barge as well as Zamboli w/ much more monies put in the fireworks
In 2008 Dodd/ Clottey did the 4th and it was cut down w/out those and then even moreso in 2009 and the beach fireworks
I will look and update thanks very much.”


The Town responded….

“Yes, the Town did spend $125,362 on special events in FY 2007/2008. That column had the correct header.”


My response….

“So, it was just an error in location not a found 93 thou as it appears he was indicating? I will re-watch his comments as well to refresh my take on his conclusion. thanks”


The Town Manager “did not think he was suggesting it was found money, just clarifying that there were sufficient funds to put on the Town’s traditional events.”


Upon watching the video once again, I must respectfully disagree …It appears to this writer that if you were not privy to what Comm. Vincent was talking about prior to his statements as the TM and staff were, it still sounds like a $93,000 overage was found in special events …… not that a header was wrong and that the bottom line was the $93,000 in that account which was the entire recreational account were correct…

In this writer’s opinion…this mistake found by Comm. Vincent ,while admirable and showing he was doing his homework on reading the budget (with the exception of looking for the correct distribution in the justification sheets )… should not have been used in his Comm. comments….. because the bottom line concerning the “$93,000 overage” in the Recreational Account was really just “much ado about nothing”… this time by the former Finance Director…OOPS!….

link to Comm. Comments 8/25/10 Town website …

more to come….

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