Letter: Team Cassetti Misrepresenting Facts On School Funding

It’s unfortunate that an administration desperate to stay in office is irresponsible enough to misrepresent figures to try crediting themselves unduly!

The person chosen to pitch this notion is running for a seat on the BOE and should have been the one person responsible enough to have at least asked the BOE the one question, “WHY!!!”

Instead she became another pawn for Team Cassetti.

I posed this question to our BOE Business Manager and here is the truth of this matter! The following is copied from her email to me:

“I am providing this information with regards to the BOE not expending 100% of the funds allocated during the 2016-17 school year.

The BOE has several factors which impacted spending during the 2016-2017 year:

  • I will start with the resignation of the Business Manager and a permanent placement not being appointed for several months. This means that budgeted salary and health care cost for a family were not being incurred.
  • The district realized significant savings in health care cost by changing to a HDHP. (High
    Deductible Health Plan)
  • The City transferred Excess Cost funds to the BOE to cover the increased cost of Special
    Education services. This is significant because in the past the BOE was absorbing these rising cost within their existing budget.
  • The City transferred in-kind expenses for LAP insurance to the BOE, this was not budgeted for by the BOE originally,
  • The last winter was mild and very warm, this combination resulted in savings for fuel heating and OT for custodians.

The net result of all the above resulted in the BOE not expending 100% of its allocated budgeted. Each of these accounts had a positive balance on June 30th 2017. These balances were used to off-set accounts that had negatives balances, they include tuition, transportation, purchased services, liability insurance and supplies. I did not use numbers above in an effort to keep it simple, but heat energy alone had an unexpended balance of $46,803.

Once the audit is final and adjustments are made I will provide an updated year-end report to all BOE members that show expenditures by object and the final figures expended and unexpended for the 2016-17 year. Currently, I do not have the backup to support the $40,125 figure that was referenced in the VIS, I was told that the number is from the audit (I cannot confirm this number).

I have not received any communication from the auditor lately, so I cannot confirm that the figures are final (I have not been given a final figure for BOE). Additionally, I have not been apprised of any changes/adjustments resulting from the audit being completed that would change numbers I currently have.”

So, Ansonia, there a lot of fluid parts to any BOE.

A statement made referencing 3 lines in a budget document represents little if any relevance to the overall budget of education.

One thing that is glaring, though, is where did Team Cassetti get its information from in the first place since the BOE has yet to receive its final audit figures?

The writer is running for re-election on the Board of Education and as a petitioning candidate for Alderman in the Seventh Ward.

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