Commissioner says state audit of North Versailles not needed
Jodi Weigand can be reached via e-mail or at 412-380-5609. North Versailles commissioner Kash Snyder wants a state legislator to know a review of the township's finances isn't necessary.
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#1 Jul 9, 2009
The audit needs to be done. If everything that goes on in the township is legitimate, then there should be nothing to hide. If the citizens of the township want an audit and Senator Logan can act on our behalf to request one, then we are entitled to one. It is our money.....or was.
#2 Jul 21, 2009
OH THEY REALLY NEED TO DO AN AUDIT HERE.THE SENATOR HAS ALREADY CONTACTED THE STATE AUDITOR GENERAL AND REQUESTED ONE.
#3 Jul 25, 2009
There needs to be an audit and Senator Logan needs to request one. This is ridiculous.Where are our tax dollars going to? Someones pocket where it shouldn't be. We had to get rid of some cops ..road work isn't getting done among other things. They are going to raise taxes to get money they had and couldn't handle right so now they need more. I do not want to live in this township any more and have been looking elsewhere. This use to be a nice town to live in. Not any more.
#4 Jul 25, 2009
Pennsylvania audit of North Versailles is urged.
A state legislator on Monday asked for an audit of North Versailles records in response to receiving dozens of calls from residents concerned about the township's finances.
"North Versailles has suffered serious financial setbacks in recent months," wrote Sen. Sean Logan, D-Plum, in a letter to Auditor General Jack Wagner. "I believe an audit of the township will help them see what the problems are, and the residents deserve to know what is going on."
The township's financial woes, which resulted in a tax increase and the furlough of six part-time police officers this year, began to emerge in an audit of the municipality's 2007 books.
In an April 13 letter to commissioners and township officials, accountants from Horovits, Rudoy & Roteman cited numerous financial problems, including poorly maintained accounting records.
Logan said during the past several months he offered North Versailles officials the state's help in trying to address some of the problems.
"I extended the offer, but they haven't taken me up on it," Logan said. "The tipping point for me, the reason I asked the auditor general to step in, was that I started getting complaints last week from residents who said they were being double-billed for garbage collection."
Commissioner Frank Bivens called the garbage billing "a computer glitch" that is being resolved.
"We're not trying to double-bill anybody," he said, blaming the township's problems on turnover in the administration, not financial malfeasance.
"We had a manager leave and hired a new one this year," Bivens said. "These are minor problems that have been fixed or are being worked on. There's no money missing or anything like that happening."
Commissioner Ruth Grimes, who characterized herself as "an outsider" on the seven-member board, applauded Logan's efforts.
"Maybe we can get to the bottom of this whole mess," said Grimes, who was elected in 2007. "I certainly haven't been able to find out on my own."
In one instance, a municipal employee left more than $1,000 in township money in a reception area while taking a lunch break, according to a document from Horovits, Rudoy & Roteman. The firm has not yet begun an audit of North Versailles' 2008 books.
Because of a delay in completing the 2007 audit, the township could not apply for a $700,000 tax anticipation note. Without the money, it could not pay its bills or employees for several weeks this year.
The audit also found the municipality failed to file required financial reports to a number of state agencies, noting that "various files were used that were in disarray and contained unbound forms and records that were at times incomplete."
Judy Oskin, who helped form the advocacy group Voices of the Citizens, said she was elated to learn that Logan has asked the state to intervene.
"Our group was formed by residents who believe that there has been a great deal of financial mismanagement in North Versailles," said Oskin, 63. "We've got a group of commissioners on the board -- not all of them -- who are not really interested in listening to what residents have to say.
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