Board of Finance Special Meeting
Monday, December 12, 2017
6:00 p.m., Town Hall Hearing Room
Present: K. Yonkers; W. Mazzucco; S. Clark; R. Dean; E. Miller. Absent: J. Barickman.
Also present: First Selectman Julia Pemberton; Selectman P. O’Donnell; Selectman M. Thompson; Dir. of Finance S. Gniadek; Treasurer W. Higgins; Technical Consultant J. Wyss; Technical Consultant J. Wendschuh.
The Chair, K. Yonkers, called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.
1. Appointment of Additional Technical Consultant
On the motion of K. Yonkers and the second of W. Mazzucco, the Board voted unanimously to appoint Jeanne Wendschuh, a member of the public who is an experienced certified public accountant, as an additional technical consultant.
2. 2017 CAFR Audit Draft
Chair K. Yonkers began the discussion of the third draft with the observations that the quality of the CAFR reflects the financial condition of the town forever and that ratings agencies and others will judge the Town based on its accuracy. She pointed out that, for a physician, accuracy and detail are of paramount importance and that the auditors should strive to minimize errors in the CAFR. R. Dean, E. Miller, and P. O’Donnell echoed her sentiments.
J. Wendschuh stated that it is ultimately up to the Town to prepare a proper CAFR. Although they sometimes do more, the auditors should only verify it. J. Wyss added that when a prior draft reflected an inaccurate Net Balance for the Town, it was a red flag.
J. Pemberton observed that the auditors seemed to spend somewhat less time at town hall this year than in the two prior years. She echoed that the CAFR should be as accurate as possible. She also mentioned that she is investigating consolidating some financial functions of the Board of Education and the Town for greater efficiency, transparency, and accuracy.
S. Gniadek stated that he and the partner in charge of the audit tend to focus on the largest and most important numbers and that they already made a large number of corrections. He said accuracy is most important with the Fund Balance, Net Position, and Profit & Loss. He also pointed out that he needed more accurate and timely responses from the Board of Education’s Director of Finance so that the CAFR would properly reflect the condition of that Board’s finances. Board of Finance members supported his efforts to obtain information over which he does not have direct control.
Chair K. Yonkers encouraged S. Gniadek to copy her on all requests to the Board of Education’s staff so she can remain informed and assist his efforts if needed.
W. Higgins described his successful efforts to minimize the credit risk associated with the Town’s bank deposits.
J. Wyss, J. Wendschuh, and P. O’Donnell then proceeded to review their lengthy lists of questions and concerns. Board members also raised various questions and concerns. S. Gniadek answered many auestions but will address remaining issues with the auditors so they can provide a more refined CAFR at the meeting of Dec. 18. They will also provide a copy of their annual grant audit.
Reflecting the sentiments of the entire Board, S. Clark thanked J. Wyss and J. Wendschuh for their extraordinary efforts to review the CAFR and to offer their expertise at no cost to the town.
3. Public Comment
On the motion of W. Mazzucco and the second of S. Clark, the Board voted unanimously to adjourn the meeting at 8:12 p.m.
Ward J. Mazzucco,