"Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason." - Mark Twain
In 2010 the State Comptroller released an audit where it found that " the comptroller did not perform a proper audit of claims submitted by the executive director report that found that the Town Comptroller failed to perform fundamental duties of his office such as auditing claims and approving expenses without supporting documentation. He also found that the Town Supervisor failed to properly monitor activities of the Town Comptroller and failed to properly oversee expenditures made from town funds and that such conduct constituted a failure by the Supervisor to administer and supervise day to day Town operations and finances. The Appellate Division, Fourth Department did not have an opportunity to accept or reject Judge Sirkin's report as the issue became moot when the the Supervisor lost re-election and the position of Town Comptroller was abolished in 2012.
Since 2012 the Town of West Seneca abolished the position of Town Comptroller. It briefly, and I believe unlawfully, re-created it in January 2014 only to abolish it again in June 2014.
In the periods when there is no Town Comptroller the duties of the Town Comptroller revert to the Town Board, Town Clerk and Town Board.
Recently the State Comptroller released another audit, this time reviewing the Town of West Seneca's purchasing policies. Notably in this audit it was found that "the claims auditing process was not consistent with Town Law as the Board, as a whole, did not audit claims. Instead, the computerized purchasing system required only one Board member or the Supervisor to be the final 'approver' for each claim. Once the final approval occurred, the status of these claims was changed and they were placed on a list of claims that were ready for payment. The remaining Board members no longer view these in their list as open claims and consequently no longer have the ability to audit and potentially question the purchases. As a result, the Board as a whole may not perform a thorough examination of the individual claims and supporting documentation. In that case, there is a risk that payments will be made without the entire Board’s full knowledge of the claims." It goes on to find that a Town Board Member's computer access, and therefore his ability to review and approve claims were removed in June 2014.
It is in-comprehendible to me that this irresponsible failure to properly audit and approve claims which Town funds are spent on continues to this day in light of the above history.
This year the voters of West Seneca have an opportunity to change a majority of the Town Board. If we want any chance at changing this culture we must act now.
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