Budget format confuses board: Naples to get auditors’ numbers for 2010-11

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES — The Town Manager presented a budget format that momentarily confounded the Naples Board of Selectmen this week.

There were a few line items that did not have carry-over amounts attached to them; and those were numbers from the fiscal year that ended six months ago, selectmen pointed out.

Town Manager Derik Goodine said the town’s auditing company, Ron H. Smith Accountants, Inc., needed to supply the accurate numbers for some of the 2010–11 budget accounts. Once those balances were confirmed, he would know what numbers to plug into the 2011–12 budget.

Many of those carry forwards were projects that have been ongoing like the town’s fire suppression underground piping project, he said.

After Goodine clarified selectmen’s questions as to why he had left some balances blank, or to be determined, the board approved, 3–0, this step in the auditing process.

At Tuesday’s meeting, selectmen Rick Paraschak, Bob Caron Sr., and Dana Watson made certain their motion to approve amounts that were not plugged in yet was a vote that was required to get the town’s books balanced.

Earlier in the discussions, the board asked about the line item graphs on the table.

“The auditor has not locked down the final numbers we have in those accounts,” Goodine said.

“You can get those numbers now, and have them for the next meeting,” Selectman Paraschak said.

Goodine said a vote was needed to move forward with acquiring that financial information.

“If you vote now, I can get the final numbers. I can get the next numbers to look at, so I can finalize the audit,” Goodine said. “It is always the same every year.”

Selectman Watson disagreed.

“Something is different,” he said.

Paraschak continued along the same vein, saying, “I don’t remember ‘to be determined’ in the budget.”

“These numbers that are represented are your best guess, and the rest goes into the General Fund,” he said to Goodine.

Goodine said, “Those are my suggested numbers.”

Selectman Caron asked if those numbers would have a value.

“Yes, they will have a value attributed to them, once I get the final numbers” from the auditor, Goodine said.

“When the audit is done, I tell you guys, if you disagree with the amount, you can question it,” he said. “This way, I can actually open up this year’s budget numbers.”

Paraschak, who was acting chair that evening, responded.

“I apologize. I haven’t seen it in that format before,” he said, adding later, “It is very difficult to read a report if you don’t have all the information.”

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