Ham of Peace here. Felt this information was so important that it needed its own thread. We can present facts until we're blue in the face and just get written off as "vile power elite bastards." The words coming from the DOR report itself cannot be spun so easily, though the Hypocrite Elite will probably try:
Two big reasons for Wareham's financial woes:
1) Too much turnover in the TA's position. We warned them umpteen million times that firing TA's for not kissing their asses hard enough, while good for their egos, was bad for Wareham.
It is our opinion that one of the greatest impediments to success in Wareham has been the turnover in the town administrator’s position. Since 2000, seven individuals have held the position. The lack of continuity in the administrator’s position has been particularly detrimental because of the authority attributed to the position and its intended impact on the operation of government. When the position is vacant, the absence of consistent leadership makes resolving issues more difficult. It also creates a management vacuum causing lines of responsibility for day-to-day operations to blur.
2) Letting the town accountant's position remain unfilled for 6 months. Just one of many town department heads left unfilled while incomptent "leaders" dragged their heels to fill it.
Contributing to the lack of consistent financial management leadership was the six-month vacancy in the town accountant’s position. From January 2009 to July 2009, only basic accounting activities were completed. During this period, the town employed the services of Financial Advisory Associates (FAA) to perform essential day-to-day activities, but no real policy or analytical support was available.
Way more than 2 issues to discuss, but those are two big ones that pop up right on page 2 of the report. I see from reading other posters that the DOR found that the Board of Dictators also had some screw ups vis a vis the sewer system.
Peace bloggers, please add your own thoughts on this report. All I know is that its proof positive that Wareham made the right decision this April and will hopefully make the right decision next April while we still have a town left.
Yup. It always seemed that sweet brucie was reducing the sewer fees to reduce his own bill...and as someone else said - to buy votes...it was a huge conflict of interest that bobo chose to mock rather than to print the truth. But, if he didn't continually praise their defects as something honorable, they would stop paying him...er...I mean stop placing the town's advertisement in the rag....
Don't keep throwing TA's overboard and if you underfund the sewer system, you'll cause big time budget problems.
That's been two major arguments of critics of the previous board of selectmen all along and low and behold, we're finally vindicated in a DOR report.
It's a good day for Wareham...and a bad day for the Hypocrite Elite.
Last edited by Hamatron5000 (2010-08-04 01:14:29)
Here's another interesting DOR quote:
The water pollution control facility enterprise fund is intended to account for all direct, indirect and capital costs associated with the sewerage treatment operation. The selectmen should then set user fees at an appropriate level to recover those costs and to generate a reasonable surplus, which would remain available for use only for enterprise purposes. However, it is clear from historical data that the enterprise fund operates with a structural deficit. Over the preceding three fiscal years, the facility has relied on over $1,263,880 in retained earnings to support ongoing operations as reported to DOR, the bulk of which has been generated from betterment assessments paid in full rather than over the apportioned period. This use of retained earnings is lawful, but not prudent.
"Over the preceding three fiscal years." Hmmm, who was in charge for the past three fiscal years?
Ham of Peace here.
On the sewer, it sounds like they were "robbing Peter to pay Paul" as the old line goes - keeping sewer rates artificially low so as to buy votes and funding the sewer system with betterment money, rather than charge an appropriate rate and save the betterment money for what it was charged for - bettering the sewer - apparently content to let someone else down the road figure out how to fix such a mess tommorrow as long as they could buy enough sewer user votes to stay in office today.
Ham of Peace here back again to bring peace to the peace bloggers.
I can't help but notice this report is dated June. How long have the Hypocrite Elite been sitting on this information? Once again this site brings the people information they otherwise never would have heard.
This report should be re-titled, "Everything the BS Buddies Ever Said Wareham Should Do Was Stupid and Ignorant and Everything Their Critics Said Was 100 Percent Right."
Looks like the Tacky Tabloid Writer (TTW) gets his info from this site without reading it (ha ha)!!!
Not one, but TWO articles on the DOR report today. The report came out in June.
What???? His "source" didn't leak him a copy??? The TTW had to wait until we posted the website on this blog!
Good morning all. I want to comment on this section for a couple of reasons. The practice of using betterment pre-paids (paid in full up front) to subsidize the sewer treatment facility is a very poor fiscal approach. I can understand if there is a shortfall during a given year due to extenuating circumstances, but as a normal practice, it is problematic.
As an example, if we took $1million of the the $1,3 million used and invested it in a safe income generating vehicle (CD, bonds, etc..) we could potentially realize 5% annually. Over a term of 15 years, you could double your investment. ($1million @ 5%, 15 year term =$1.1million interest earned) This could result in paying off some of the long term debt early and reducing the betterment fee to citizens or utilizing the gain to assist in lowering other betterments.
The short term effect of this poor practice is keeping the usage fees level. The long term effect will be an increase that will be unacceptable to the sewer users. The good news for the sewer commissioners that are making these decisions is that they will long gone when their poor financial decisions come back to roost. The bad news is they are selling the financial future of Wareham to pay for the NOW.
Yeah...he's spinning like a top to justify his participation with a group of incompetent idiots that are long gone, thankfully.
You still have two left...better start finding candidates RIGHT NOW....don't think lots of money won't be spent to keep the two remaining holdovers from the previous BOS.
Start now... results in kick ass later...
From The hate blogger from halifax
hate blogger from halifax wrote:
The most amusing Take Back Wareham spin regards the DOR’s analysis of the Pollution Control Facility budget. The DOR reached the same conclusion Andrews reached months ago: the facility operates with a structural deficit. According to the DOR, "over the preceding three fiscal year the facility has relied on over $1,263,880 in retained earnings to support ongoing operations as reported to DOR, the bulk of which has been generated from betterment assessments paid in full rather than over the apportioned period. This use of retained earnings is lawful, but not prudent."
That’s 100 percent accurate. But the DOR doesn’t state why this occurred. The Take Back Wareham crew knows, and they are ignoring the truth in order to justify re-implementing the sewer administration fee (which has always been their intention). When the previous board began eliminating the bogus sewer administration fee (which amounted to double-dipping sewer users to balance the town budget), the former Pollution Control Facility director was told to make the necessary cuts in his budget to account for the decrease in this revenue stream. Not only didn’t he do that, he came in over-budget. That’s may be why he’s now the former Pollution Control Facility director.
How can you not laugh at this foolish attempt to lay the blame on the outgoing director? Why did this occur? It is simple. For three years, the leadership (read Sewer Commissioners) has neglected their duty.
DOR report wrote:
The selectmen should then set user fees at an appropriate level to recover those costs and to generate a reasonable surplus, which would remain available for use only for enterprise purposes. However, it is clear from historical data that the enterprise fund operates with a structural deficit.
That seems pretty simple to me. Who sets the rate? The Selectmen set the rate, not the Director. If you want to quote the DOR report, please quote ALL the pertinent facts. Let’s see if I understand this correctly.
Halifax Harlot wrote:
The former Pollution Control Facility director was told to make the necessary cuts in his budget to account for the decrease in this revenue stream.
. If you take the figure of 1,263,880 and divide it by 3 years (per the DOR report), the amount that was over budget (per year) is $421,293. Considering the rules and restrictions that govern the Facility, how in the world could a Director pull that sum out of his budget? The majority of expense comes from wages, insurance, and electricity. The plant operates 24 hours a day, 365days a year. The fixed portion of the expense is huge. With the reduction of the Director’s salary, you still cannot come to the $421k deficit. Does it make sense to you?
It is simple math, but logic should prevail. RAISE THE RATE! It is clear you can only squeeze so much out of a dried up orange. Maybe someone needs to ask the Sewer Commissioners what their plan is to eliminate poor fiscal practice and compensate for the deficit?
Ham of Peace here with a few more thoughts for the Riders of the Peace Train:
Know what's funny? Either Brenda or Jane tripped over themselves to report to Bobo that Cara Winslow was baking a cake, but no one gave him a copy of the DOR report. He had to find out about it by reading this blog. I guess the lackey is on a need to know basis. (Ooops, he doesn't read this blog, probably one of his unnamed sources told him it was up on the blog).
The DOR report was available for the past two months, why was it not addressed at a selectmen's meeting? Once again, this blog shines a light on information hidden from the public.
Last edited by Hamatron5000 (2010-08-04 10:17:01)
Watching the Move Wareham Forward(MWF) folks try to spin their way out out the DOR report is going to be more fun than watching Cape Cod League baseball ! The only honest way out for MFW now would be to face up both to the mess their idols have created and to their intention to "stay the course".
What they must do ASAP is come up with a new name for themselves... one that neatly encapsulates their true mission. Actually, I've thought of one that "nails it" and which would allow them to keep the same MFW acronym : Making Wareham Fail. Brilliant!!
It would be a strategy that would appeal to those who are addicted to making unwise choices, and it has the potential of attracting at least several more people to the polls in 2011. This new name has great awareness raising potential all by itself, but by borrowing slogans such as , "Yes We Can!", and "Together We Can!", they would benefit exponentially. Furthermore, now that they have a staff economist they will be able to back up their chants with scholarly proof of their promise : If given just three more years of governance by the MFW-backed candidates they can put Wareham into receivership.
"A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul."
George Bernard Shaw
It is time to demand that the town has ELECTED sewer commissioners. We need engineers, hydrogeologists, financial experts etc. No offense, but I voted for selectmen but I got an unwanted twofer. The qualities I look for in a bos candidate are NOT the same as those I would look for in a sewer commissioner!!!
Also we need a metered sewer system. Most sewered towns do it that way for a good reason. Just don't mention this during citizen's participation or you will be called an idiot!!!!!!
I must admit I am totally confused about what has happened with the Sewer operation in Wareham.
We never worried about a deficit in the budget when we first opened and operated it. I have stated before, the only problem we had was odor and that was caused by lack of sufficient use. It was new and not enough homes and businesses were tied into it, causing the plant to be unable to handle the odor problem. Somewhat ironic isn't it? Not enough crap instead of too much.
I read that Bourne uses this facility. Is that true, and if so, how much do they pay for usage? If they are not paying, tell them they must pay. It is not unusual for communities to tie into other communities' facilities until they build there own, or are told the community can no longer supply them. But, I have never heard of not paying for the usage. I hope someone can answer that question.
MWF is so confused they still don't realize that there NEVER was a Take Back Wareham organization.
It was, and still is, a slogan. A SLOGAN. It was a rallying cry for people who are associated with this blog to carry out into the community.
I don't know of any monies raised by a Take Back Wareham group, I don't know of any meetings that took place under that name, I don't know of any monies raised and given to candidates under that name. It certainly was not and is not a PAC. I did buy a Take Back Wareham shirt for my wife and me at cost. I think P-Span has a picture of me wearing it. I hope he can figure out how to remove the others in the photo, crop it, and put it up some day. I LOVE that picture!
Their biggest mistake, which they will discover, is to name an actual PAC "Move Wareham Forward". It has a smell of incumbency because of the phrase used by the sitting Governor who doesn't seem too popular. It is a reminder to people that incumbents are going to be thrown out of office, and is almost a rallying cry to do so. Very foolish. Kind of like the careers and writings of some of their contributors.
Dick Wheeler is one of my heroes.
Ham of Peace here to spread the peace.
I heard the original title for this report was "When Wareham Takes Financial Advice From Unemployed Losers, It Gets What It Gets."
Ham of Peace here back with more peace.
No surprise that Bobo the Clown is spinning his wheels faster than Mario Andretti. When a DOR report exposes your buddies for the incompetent clowns that they are, all you can do is spin like an overloaded laundromat washing machine set on high.
Last edited by Hamatron5000 (2010-08-04 15:34:53)
Amazing to hear some people who actually were the commissioners of the sewer operations blame everyone but themselves.
Selectmen are supposed to watch the hen house, not join the fox, later blushing and saying, "It was HIS fault!"
They can spin all they want, but every time they write something, and quote incompetent idiots, the dumber they all look.
The amount of intellect, reduced to liquid, in that whole group wouldn't fill a thimble.
I feel sorry for them because they haven't received closure from their embarrassing losses during the last election and Town Meetings.
Listen folks...you can't heal until you ACCEPT...accept the fact that you got your ass kicked, then go through the grieving process, then come back out with a clear head and try to figure out what happened.
Was this the Brucie quote in the tacky tabloid you are talking about Dan??
" Bruce Sauvageau, who served as chairman of the Board of Selectmen last year, said the problem was "we had a superintedent who couldn't count."
"He did not match his income to the expense," Sauvageau said. "There was a mathematicaly certain that he was going to run a deficit."
A superintedent [sic] and a mathematicaly [sic] certain [sic]???? What does that mean???
And while I'm at it, what does this mean?? "It was a scam, and it cost sewer users upware of $10 millon over the past 15 years."
Upware [sic] of $10 milion [sic] ????
And more confusion from Janie: " Jane Donahue, current chairman of the Board of Selectmen, said all the problems listed by the DOR did not ocur overnight.
"The DOR made suggestions in 2001 that were never inplented," she said."
What does ocur [sic] mean and how does something get inplented [sic]???
And yikes!! What's this?? "The entire chart of accounts have been changed. The accountants were never mapped properly. That's why the department heads were unaware they were running deficits."
Are we mapping accountants now instead of accounts??? No wonder things aren't adding up.
No wonder people are so confused!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Last edited by Nora Bicki (2010-08-04 17:38:43)
Less than 30 minutes (since I last checked) and the corrections are made.
Good thing he isn't reading the blog. LOL, LOL, LOL!!!!!!!!!!
Get a life. And a spell checker!!!!!!!!
the Tshirt looks good...
Dan looks great....
But, doncha think that it takes Stewie pants to complete the picture?
Just one person's opinion.....
I love Nora Bicki.
Me too. She's very smart. I'm glad she takes the time to bring us the real truth. .... not to mention that she can do so using proper grammar and correct spelling.
Nice shirt, Dan-O!
I see Brockton Brenda has a letter to the Lackey Gazette. Boy oh Boy, this report has been out and available all summer long, none of them have anything to say about it, we start commenting on it and suddenly they're going into spin cycle like there's no tommorrow.
They can spin it all they like. They can play their usual trick of trying to cast blame on everyone before them. The people of Wareham can read and when they read the report, they'll see the report puts the blame squarely on the mistakes made by the Hypocrite Elite over the past three years. Tin hats may be fooled by spin, the rest of Wareham won't be.
Funny how if none of us had blogged about it, they were apparently never going to say a word about it.
Last edited by Hamatron5000 (2010-08-04 21:51:38)
Does anyone know someone or two someone’s that will run against the two witches of Wareham? You don’t have to post their names because of course you know who will immediately go on the attack and say they are candidates from the Take Back Wareham crowd.
I just need to know if there are two strong candidates out there that are willing to go up against the witches of Wareham.
Brockton Brenda wrote:
We can try to point fingers at different people over the last decade...
Actually, we can't. Not when the DOR report doesn't point a finger at people from "the last decade." It does, however, point a great big GIANT finger at the incompetent brainless babbling idiots that have been running the joint for the PAST THREE YEARS, and anyone with a second grade reading comprehension who reads the report can see that.
Ham, here is my favorite line from her article---"It’s an all too common event – spin and blame."
Perhaps someone needs to take a look in the mirror. The majority of the letter is a spin and blame game.
Ham of Peace here with some Hamnalysis of the DOR report that the Hypocrite Elite does not want you to see. It's chock full of information, and criticism of the Hypocrite Elite, so it'll take some wading through, but I think it is important to go through the whole thing, so I'll try to do it in parts.
The first thing you'll notice is this report is dated "June, 2010." Here it is August, no one ever knew it was out until people starting talking about it on this site.
SWEEPING IT UNDER THE RUG - THE REPORT THE HYPOCRITE ELITE DIDN'T WANT YOU TO SEE
The Hypocrite Elite never said word one about it until we started talking about it. The previous board of selectmen asked for it. Why didn't Janey and Brenda bring it up during a selectmen's meeting? Why didn't Bagel Boy write about it?
No one wrote a word about it until we started talking about it. Then it was spin city. When they're going on the defensive, you know the report is bad for them. Anyone who reads it is unlikely to vote for Hypocrite Elite candidates next April.
CANNING TA'S FOR NOT KISSING ENOUGH ASS - GOOD FOR HYPOCRITE ELITE EGOS, BAD FOR WAREHAM
Page 1 of the report says the economy is one reason for Wareham's problems, but then lists another problem, a problem caused by no one but the Hypocrite Elite clowns:
Second, as a result of continued turnover in the town administrator’s position, continuity of leadership and management has been missing. It appears that this circumstance has caused the selectmen and the finance committee to extend, perhaps by necessity, their involvement in municipal government beyond traditional roles.
On page 2:
Open town meeting and a five-member board of selectmen govern Wareham. Appointed by the selectmen, a town administrator manages day-to-day operations. It is our opinion that one of the greatest impediments to success in Wareham has been the turnover in the town administrator’s position. Since 2000, seven individuals have held the position. The lack of continuity in the administrator’s position has been particularly detrimental because of the authority attributed to the position and its intended impact on the operation of government. When the position is vacant, the absence of consistent leadership makes resolving issues more difficult. It also creates a management vacuum causing lines of responsibility for day-to-day operations to blur.
That's the DOR's words, not mine. Too much turnover in the TA's position is "one of the greatest impediments to success in Wareham."
These clowns allowed this town to fester without a permanent TA for four years. No one to keep an ongoing eye over the town's finances and plan for the future.
We've said for years that throwing too many TA's under the bus was bad for Wareham. Now the DOR is saying it too.
No Town Accountant for Six Months
Contributing to the lack of consistent financial management leadership was the six-month vacancy in the town accountant’s position. From January 2009 to July 2009, only basic accounting activities were completed. During this period, the town employed the services of Financial Advisory Associates (FAA) to perform essential day-to-day activities, but no real policy or analytical support was available.
For the past few years, these clowns have been throwing out department heads left and right for not kissing enough butt and then taking way too long to replace them. Six months without a town accountant damaged this town's financial situation badly.
If six months without a town accountant hurt the town's finances, how did two years without a permanent library director hurt the library?
Anyone with eyes can take a look at the business scene and the dying strip mall in East Wareham and see how this town was hurt by being without a town planner for three years...
More on page 2
In a letter dated April 2010 to the town administrator, the DOR’s Director of Accounts was critical of the town’s financial practices. Specifically, he urged local officials to resolve outstanding financial management concerns and imposed conditions for setting next year’s tax rate.
I will admit that I have read the sensational tabloid coverage of the DOR report. What I find very odd is that while certain elected officials are piling the blame on former employees, they forgot the most important element...LEADERSHIP. So, even if someone decided to go over budget or had math errors, it falls directly on the LEADERSHIP to correct these problems in a timely manner. 3 years of deficits is too many. That would mean that they ignored the problem for 3 years, which is unacceptable, or they knew about the problem and did not act on it, which is unacceptable.
One of the key points of being a leader is accepting that you are in charge and the blame, responsibility, and corrective action falls directly on YOU. LEADERSHIP does shuck the blame, they accept it, make corrective actions and make the statement that they are responsible and accept the blame.
Did anyone ever hear about, or discuss, the letter from DOR to the TA? In APRIL....not June...APRIL.
LARRY YOUR RITE THE KEY IS LEADERSHIP , I GUESS THERE NO PRES TRUMANS IN BRENDA OR JANE THE BUCK STOP HERE.
Let's not forget that it was under the former regime that the entire Finance Committee resigned their positions. That occurred after the town meeting where the library budget was slashed by the BoS. Town meeting was postponed so the bos could try to get their budget on the floor. We lost some really competent people from that Fin Com.
Then, the bos puts in a completely new Fin Com. The reason our committees have staggered appointments is so that there will be some continuity. A couple people finish their three year terms but there is a majority of the board who still has experience to help the new members get acclimated.
The new Fin Com had none of this institutional history to help them out. The bos did help by getting them a class in how to read a ledger!! But these newbies were basically starting from zero. They have worked really hard, but have been at a disadvantage from the beginning.
Then do you all recall when the majority of this same Fin Com came before the bos and PLEADED to be given information so they could do their jobs??
That's followed with six months without an accountant. We all know that the temp accountant did only the basics and that the finances were in further disarray after these events occurred.
Remember also that John McAuliffe wanted to decrease the sewer admin fee in increments to prevent exactly what has happened. His wise advice was one of the reasons he got fired!!!
So, to not take responsibility for the current situation is a joke. Am I pointing a finger?? Uh, yeah.
I agree Nora:
From the DOR Report:
"Despite efforts to cope with this period of depressed economic activity, the town’s financial condition has only worsened. Wareham’s FY2011 budget ($58,958,893) passed by town meeting this spring is less than a one percent increase over FY2010 spending level ($58,547,153). This budget, however, may not be in balance because local officials relied on the local aid estimates contained in the Governor’s Budget (House 2) even though the House Ways & Means budget, which included a local aid reduction, had been released. As a result, the necessity to call a special town meeting in the fall, after the fiscal year has begun, will likely arise, which is a practice that should be discouraged. As it stands today, Wareham’s budget may be more than $500,000 out of balance, based on local aid estimates of the FY2011 House final budget."
Good postings here, gang.
As summer slides toward fall, we are left with three major financial issues.
1. The letter from the Director of Accounts which " imposed conditions for setting next year's tax rate ". what are they? How is the Town doing in addressing and/or resolving these conditions? Make no mistake, if the Director of the Bureau of Accounts says no tax rate, it means no tax rate. Period.
2. The budget imbalance, as cited above. Is it resolved? what steps are being taken to resolve it? This could get ugly, folks. it may be only 1 % +/- of the budget; but deciding who, what, where the 500 K comes from will make for very intense debate. This could make for a very interesting fall Town Meeting.
3. In the midst of all this, the Town lost another department head, one who is critical to all of the current discussions. The Director of Assessment is now employed by the city of Fall River, as of Monday last. How will this change affect the processes that the Assessor is key to on the road to that tax rate.
Keep in mind that in a quarterly billing community, which Wareham is, all of these issues will need to be resolved by early December. that's FOUR (4) months. Not much time.
Good points Nota....and the reserve fund...why is there no money? What is the Town's bond rating?
One wonders: with the devastating results of the DOR report, what is to be expected of the IG's report?
How will we spin then?
Last edited by danoconnell (2010-08-06 18:13:19)
“Wareham’s budget maybe more than $500,000 out of balance based on the local aid budget for estimates of the FY2011 House final budget”
So the DOR is saying we are probably going to be out of balance. Is anyone doing anything to resolve this deficit? Didn’t the TA say we were in the black by about $400,000? That should help with the deficit if indeed we do have a surplus. Does anyone remember how shocked and freaked out Biz was when they wanted to increase the reserve money from $100,000 to $200,000? The look on her face was utter shock. If we do indeed have a surplus of $400,000 why not double the money for the reserve. Why was she so freaked out at the suggestion to double the reserve money? She practically killed herself running up on stage to talk to the TA carrying all her paperwork with her.
Bob Brady you were up at Town Meeting going over every single number they were throwing out lol. Do you think we have a surplus of $400,000? Did you take the TA up on his offer to go over the numbers with you? Numbers are numbers you either have a surplus or a deficit. It was Wall Street that first messing with the numbers so more people would invest in their companies. I hope Wareham hasn’t fallen into the same creative bookkeeping Wall Street is known to use.
This one statement from the DOR should get everyone one’s attention how are we going to make that money up. How many more people are going to loose their jobs?
I went on line to search for Wareham's bond rating. I found it immediately on the DOR website. Just search Town of Wareham bond rating, and it will show you the Town's financial reports, spending (not line by line) and eventually the bond rating.
It ain't good...in fact...it's terrible...but DOR has already told you why.
I know some of you are financial advisors (real ones, not the fake kind like the former Chairman).
The bond rating shown in based on 2009 figures. What is the bond rating TODAY after the DOR report?
Issuers of bonds have close ears to the ground. I have no doubt they have heard of Wareham.
Would one of you find out please?
Maybe someone could ask that question at the selectman's meeting Tues.
I don't think there are many more jobs left to loose, Marny. Funny how Wareham had alot of jobs before these clowns, then they were all cut, but your tax bill wasn't. Where'd all the money go? Show us the money!!!
Marny...if someone asked that question at the BOS meeting this coming Tuesday, they will not receive an answer. The TA and everyone involved will put on their Irish dancing shoes and move so quickly about the room it will look a like a Tasmanian Devil on the loose.
They'll tell whomever they will look into it and get back to them...don't hold your breath. Besides, we don't need to ask questions when we already have the answers .
DanO & Marny,
No need to wait until tuesday evening for an answer to the question regarding bond ratings. Four people in the town Hall should know that as well as they know their own phone number.
1. the T/A - and possibly others in his office.
4. the treasurer/collector & and some individuals on his staff.
So. three steps:
1. Call them all on Monday AM
2. If no replies, repeat on Tuesday AM
3. If STILL no replies, bring it up at citizen's participation on Tuesday evening.
Here's what I know....and don't know. the bond rating agency has a conference call with key financial types at least once per year. Based on the data they gather in that call & other sources, they issue a rating for the Town. Don't know if this strictly annual, or whether new information (such as the DOR report) will trigger a change in the rating. Will try to find an answer.
If you read the Wall Street Journal, then you know that these agencies are under a lot of scutiny and their business is in flux. What does that mean to local communities? Don't know, and it is doubtful that anyone has firm answers, yet.
One more thing. Remember that interest rates are at all-time lows. See today's Wall Street Journal for multiple articles addressing this point. currently, changes in the bond rating will have little impact on the Town's interest expense. Over time, this could change. One hopes that the Town's financial picture does as well, for the better.
Ham… Bob Brady tried to make that exact point at the spring Town Meeting. It was all very confusing but the TA kept telling him that even though the job wasn’t filled town accountant, library director, etc the money was still set aside in the budget. ( I think that’s what he was trying to say) Bob kept saying well the money may have been set aside but since there wasn’t any to collect the money where did the money go? Correct me if I’m wrong Bob but wasn’t that one of the points you were trying to make. Anyway after much back and forth the TA’s answers were as clear as mud.
Ham, one person they could get rid of is John Sanquinet. I think he makes something like $80,000 a year.
Someone sent me the troll's spin on the bond discussion. I doubt very much if the troll has ever bought any bonds, but if he did, and he bought B rated bonds because he thought that was pretty good and Wareham was 8Th on the list, then it explains why he has no money.
His economic advisors must be looking at him like he has three heads. If not, they shouldn't be teaching economics on ANY level.
You don't piss your money away on B rated bonds, numbnuts, unless it is someone else's money and you hate them.
Take a look at the difference in bond ratings and the reports from the DOR on the Town of Hingham.
Which would you invest in?
Wareham is on the verge of bankruptcy, has virtually no reserve fund for emergencies, has no qualified Town Accountant, has a Town Administrator that has never held the position, has a Library system in complete disarray because of the BOS, and the list goes on.
So...who wants to invest there?
Time to clean house and get the financial affairs in order for Wareham. Time is running out.
Two new Selectmen this coming election, intellects with business knowledge, should help in the process.
All is not lost...it is stalled. Success will come over time, but you must be VERY vigilant and watch each and every expenditure as though it were your own family's budget.
The wonderful events and clean up activities over the last few weeks have been due to VOLUNTEERS like Tiny Lopes, no elected officials had the foresight to do these things. It takes a community working together, without relying on government, to successfully keep a town going in the right direction. Depend on each other, not government, and see what happens. It is all positive.
Here is another economic reality. How many homes have been foreclosed on in Wareham in the last three years? Have all of the banks requested and received final judgments and assumed full control and ownership of the properties, and are those banks PAYING PROPERTY taxes on those homes or units?
Here, in Florida, the answer is no. Banks are ripping the local communities off by not requesting final judgments, therefore no-one is paying taxes on the property and in most cases not caring for the properties with proper up-keep, thereby reducing the values of homes in the neighborhoods.
It's a cute game, one that is trying to be chased and closed, but no success yet. That is the reason for the short falls of monies that communities are experiencing.
Gee...Banks not being honest...I can't believe it!
Dan Bobo has no idea what it means to have a B rating he is clueless.
Dan I also noticed Hingham’s rating which is Aaa. By the way there rating is posted on their web site along with lots of information about each department. Hingham has almost the same population as Wareham we have about 21,000 they have 22,000. Their average income is 83,000 ours is $45,000. Regardless of the income they have been going through the same bad economic times we have been going through. The difference is that they have plan that they stick to and they have priorities, fiscal responsibility being high on their list. Look at how many people they are willing to employ to keep their finances in order and look at the results.
“The Town Accountant's office consists of the Town Accountant/Finance Director, Ted C. Alexiades, one full time Staff Accountant, one full time Payroll Administrator, one full time Accounts Payable Specialist, one full time Manager of Information Systems and one part time Systems Analyst.”
Town of Hingham Recognized
for Excellence in Financial Reporting
For the thirteenth consecutive year (1996-2008), the Government Finance Officer's Association of the U.S. and Canada (GFOA) has awarded The Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting to the Town of Hingham for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR.)
The certificate has been presented to Ted C. Pleiades, Town
Accountant/Finance Director. In its announcement, the GFOA states that "the Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management".
“Long-term Financial Planning
The Town’s Finance Director works closely with the Board of Selectmen, the Advisory Committee and Department Directors to develop short-term and long-term financial goals and to address the financial stability of the Town.
Since the mid 1990’s the Town has consistently made capital expenditures a high priority, and to that end the Capital Outlay Committee recommended a total of $475,000 for capital improvements for Fiscal 2010. Due to current economic conditions and budget restraints this amount of capital spending was reduced from normal levels of $2-$3 million annually. The Town expects to be able to appropriate capital spending in the $2.0 million range for fiscal year 2011.”
Wouldn’t it be nice if Wareham could get one award for being fiscally responsible, wouldn’t it be nice if we could spend 2 million for capital planning.
I would love to see you get a competent Finance Committee. I am not trying to insult the current committee, but as pointed out, there are no experienced people serving. I would hope the the new BOS might try to solicit those members who left en-mass a couple of years ago to come back, or at least a couple come back and those who have served in the past, regardless of when, serve as advisors to the members of the committee.
Very important for the Finance Committee to know EVERYTHING that is being spent and the vision(financial) of the BOS and their agent, the TA.
I would not be surprised to hear that Wareham, after the bond raters receive the report from the DOR, are not bond rated.
Very embarrassing and dangerous. Time to put the Town's finances under a microscope.
marney & DanO,
You guys are raising good, real issues here. Let me comment on some...
Marny on the BobBrady v. T/A @ Town Meeting. I was appalled at the dance of the sugar plum fairies pulled off by the T/A in 'response', or non-response to Mr. Brady. The T/A has a tendency to put on the dancing shoes and shuck 'n' jive around answers. Your question needs to be addressed in the context of fiscal years. For FY10, which ended June 30, 2010, these vacancies would likely create a surplus within those accounts. This surplus can be used in different ways, such as paying for consultants to aide the Accountant in her job. Or, it can be turned back to the General fund and used to cure deficits in other accounts; such as Snow & Ice, which is chronically underfunded and usually runs a deficit (true in many communities). These are known as "Transfers from Available Funds", and they are shown on a form known as B-2, which is attached to and becomes a part of the Recap sheet, which is used to calculate the tax rate.
but Mr. Brady's question was asked during debate on the FY2011 budget. At TM time, one must assume that these positions (plural - can you believe it?) will be filled at some point during FY11. Therefore, you must fund the position from July 1 thru June 30. Otherwise, you would be looking for money during the fiscal year, which would not work very well. That happened in Stoughton this spring, when the BoS hired a Town Manager for 30-35,000 more than the position was budgeted for FY10 or FY11. this caused much nastiness, which is not yet resolved.
DanO on the bond thing. Please note that due to poor wording by the BoBo (what a surprise!), he gave the impression that Wareham is 8th on some list. In the County, the State, the Country, What? What he was trying to say, in his mangled syntax. It appears that the Town's bond rating is in the no. 8 position out of 17 bond ratings that he cited; that is, the rating, not the Town. The Town's rating is in the middle of the range. This means it will pay a higher interest rate on any bonding, say compared to Hingham; but it will pay a lower interest rate compared to Springfield.
but still, there will be buyers for any bond issues from Wareham. Remember, there are very few defaults on municipal bonds. The last one in Massachusetts that I remember was Fall River during the depression. There may be some since, but I am not aware. Even nationally: there were a couple in California, a county in Alabama is close, and the city of Harrisburg, PA is on the verge due to a SEWER project.
Thank you, Nota...I agree...there will be buyers for B-rated bonds...they are also investors that specialize in many high risk investments...many, if not most are successful, but all it takes is one bad deal of consequence and...
We also might mention here that the latest DOR report did NOT say anything about the economy when they criticized the Town's operations...that was 2009...this is 2010...Nota knows what happens when a B rating drops to NO rating...it ain't pretty...
I admire you,Stewie...you know that :)
I have a great suggestion for the Finance Committee...someone who has served on it in the past, and has been elected to office to know the importance of the Finance Committee's oversight...Bob Brady!
But...I do mean it...
Yeah..there may be buyer's, but because of our relatively poor bond rating we have to pay higher interest rate's...which equals less money for Wareham. There's no way around it..this town has been mis-managed.. It's like having poor credit..you may be able to get a loan..but the rate you get will be accordingly higher than someone with good credit..(How'd that work out the last few years when people with poor credit were able to get home loans and defaulted left and right?) exactly..
Last edited by P-SPAN (2010-08-08 15:00:08)
Wareham Week has written a synopsis of the MASS DOR Report that exposes the mind-boggling incompetence of the former dictatorship. Hope everyone in town reads it then votes to throw the bums out next year like they did this year.
Wowee zowee Bobo is throwing a temper tantrum that Wareham Week reported on the Mass DOR report that exposes the incompetence of the former dictatorship. Get a grip Bobo, I know this report exposes your buddies' incompetence, but no need to throw a temper tantrum.