I am member to Goffstown's Budget Committee and, as a member of that committee, I expect that the numbers given to me for consideration be correct at least to the best ability of the presenters - fair enough?
Last year, during my detailed analysis of the school budget, I found several instances of numbers that were incorrect. I pointed out these errors and even the processes I used to determine the errors to the SAU19 Business Manager.
There were a few different errors; however, one significant theme ran rampant through last year's budget: when a salary line was adjusted, the accompanying lines (FICA, being only one of them) were often not adjusted accordingly. During the budgeting process, some salary lines were adjusted downward, but the accompanying lines were not; therefore, leaving many dollars in the budget that were not justified in any way. Because of a computer crash, I do not have on hand the exact dollar figure I came up with last year after the budget was finally set; however, it was five figures, I believe. I would bet that a complete audit would pick up well over $100K when all the associated lines were corrected - that amount alone would cover some lines that were cut that parents had to pay.
"Here we go again" goes like this:
Now I think that the responsible party or parties might be smart enough to know that Bill Gordon might just check for such errors again in the next budget cycle. Well... on the evening of October 29th the Budget Committee and the Superintendent of Schools sat in a public meeting for a general question and answer session of the proposed school budget. Guess what? Bill Gordon checked upon the possibility of the misrepresentation of budget numbers as I discussed above and what did I find? Salary lines adjusted with the associated lines unadjusted!!!
Granted, budgeting is an inexact process; however, an overwhelming number of budget lines have exact computations behind them.
(Expletives deleted) I want numbers I can trust in a budget that is being presented to me for my consideration. I am OUTRAGED that I get crap like this from that highly compensated school administration.
You decide - is this an example sloppy workmanship, fraud, ignorance, or is Bill Gordon just a big old pain in the butt? I can assure you that this is no minor 'computer error'.
PS: As a point of reference, on the town side of the budget, the computational accuracy of the town budget numbers is outstanding and the people in the town hall would be so ashamed of themselves if I found 'mistakes' of this nature.