Tuesday, October 28, 2008

MARSD Gets an "A" on Latest Financial Audit

Click here for a copy of the 2007-08 audit.

For those wondering if elections matter, here’s more evidence they do. Following Dr. Gambino’s election to the Matawan-Aberdeen school board in 2007, the standards wing had a one-vote majority that disappeared the following year with Ken Aitken’s defeat. But, during that one year, they appointed two senior administration officials – Dr. Richard O’Malley as superintendent and Ms. Susan Irons as business administrator. Dr. O’Malley and Ms. Irons were both outsiders with no connection to the community or any senior member of the school district, a precondition for their consideration. Though we won’t know the impact on test scores for another year, the recent financial audit was startling – the Matawan Aberdeen Regional School District has cleaned its books.

As Dr. O’Malley states in his introduction, “The 2007-2008 auditors' management report reflects the successful implementation of the corrective actions, as the number of auditor recommendations decreased from eighteen to six.” (Page 11) More importantly, every finding from last year’s audit was rectified.

To capture the full scope, compare this year’s audit to the prior year’s findings. (Page 158) Last year, in a sample test of 60 purchase orders/vouchers, 7 had blanket orders, 9 vouchers were not encumbered, 2 lacked supporting documentation, 2 were from the year before, and 1 lacked a date of receipt. All this from a sample of just 60 PO’s and vouchers.

Other findings included late payments, inaccurate financial reports, missing documents, non-current records, accounting discrepancies, and a failure to follow state guidelines.

This year’s six findings are –

  1. $22,600 of grant money wasn’t spent
  2. A line item was mislabeled by last year’s auditor
  3. The high school store is not tracking inventory
  4. Athletic events are not properly tracking ticket sales
  5. The athletic fund had numerous outstanding checks that were never cashed
  6. No written contract with the Bayshore Jointure regarding the space rental
(Interestingly, someone leaked a false story to the media that Dr. O’Malley was trying to close the Bayshore Jointure when he began contract negotiations to satisfy the last audit finding.)

The audit was performed by Robert A. Hulstart and Company, a firm with no known relationship to anyone on the school board or administration except that Ms. Irons had worked with them once before. By contrast, Aberdeen Township has a decade-long relationship with its auditor who’s also closely tied to the Monmouth Democratic Party and maintains an office in Vic Scudiery’s Airport Plaza down the hall from Norman Kauff.

Another difference in board leadership can be found in staff hiring. During the 2006-07 school year, when the board was led by President Williams and Vice President Demarest, the district hired an extra 29 regular teachers and 8 special education teachers, expanding those departments by 9% and 25%, respectively. The following year, under President O’Connell and Vice President Aitken, the staff size shrunk. (Page 130)

Still, the report wasn’t all roses and sunshine.

“Total spending for all programs excluding capital projects fund was $66,772,692 including a charge of $531,091 for depreciation. General revenues (primarily local tax levy and state aid) were adequate to provide for the balance of these programs, exclusive of the charge for depreciation.” (Page 24)

Net Capital Assets fell from $47,336,880 to 47,066,592. (Page 51)

Simply put, we don’t have the money to cover both operating expenses and building maintenance and the problem will get worse unless we restrain spending.

Another sore spot is the $36.8 million dollar debt service that was approved by referendum in late 2002. A substantial portion of the money went to the construction of 17 new classrooms. As can be seen on the capacity/enrollment chart (Page 132), from the day the extra classrooms were built, they were never needed – not one. The high school also has surplus capacity of 31% but all of the elementary schools, save Lloyd Road, are at or above capacity.

Considering the student population has been remarkably stable for the last several years, it seems these construction projects to add extra capacity had something other than the students’ needs in mind.

As for this year’s financial audit, congratulations to Dr. O’Malley and Ms. Irons on a job well done. Let’s hope the district does as well on the educational side of the scorecard. >>> Read more!

42 comments:

Mim Song said...

C'mon, give some credit to the Board -- it'll make you feel better!

Aberdeener said...

I gave credit to the board for appointing O'Malley and Irons. Do they deserve more?

KimsMomsHusband said...

Who do we thank on the School Board?

Those who allowed Quinn to run wild and drastically effect the taxpayers, budgets and students. And don't forget the test scores that went though the basement during his tenure.

I thank those who finally got him to leave.

That is who deserves thanks. All the rest of them who allowed Quinns destructive and bafoon-ish attitude to exist and fester, deserve our contempt. But of course as New Jersey goes, the more you F up the better your next job.

You know who you are BARZA.

KennyCB said...

KimsMomsHusband is exactly right. These school board members keep telling us how hard they work for our kids. B S!

The changes that Dr. O'Malley have brought along with his close staff members, may bring about the changes so desperately needed to our district, its test scores and its oppressed taxpayers.

Barbato and Zavorskas must be so pissed off.

I am glad.

F BARZA.

Anonymous said...

Barbado and Zavorskas must be so pissed off. THAT IS JUST GREAT!

How right you are Kenny CB.

The two of them (Barbado and Zavorskas) are like the little child who owns the ball and who runs home crying and holding their breath when the game does not go their way.

KEEP HOLDING YOUR BREATH BARZA.

DO US ALL A FAVOR!

U C Brother said...

BARZA THE WRITING IS ON THE WALL AND THE DOOR IS CLOSING ON YOU AND YOUR KIND.

DIVISIVENESS AND ALIENATION DON'T WORK.

THE CHANGE IS HERE AND THE CHANGES ARE WORKING. SURE YOUR PEOPLE GET UPSET AT THE ABERDEENER.

SO DO TAXPAYERS TIRED OF YOU ANY YOURS.

SO YOU AND YOUR LITTLE PTO CRONIES NEED TO SEEK TO CONTINUE YOUR DIVIDE AND CONQUER TYPE OF LEADERSHIP SOMEWHERE ELSE.

AT YOUR AGES I WOULD START LOOKING FOR NURSING HOMES OR CONDO COMMUNITIES WHERE YOU COULD RULE WITH YOUR SUPPOSED IRON FISTS AND ALIENATION TACTICS TO OPPRESS PEOPLE.

BY THE WAY YOUR IRON FISTS ARE RUSTING AND CRUMBLING.

JUST SO YOU KNOW.

KennyCB said...

Once again that scumbag Norman Kauff's name surfaces over and over and over again with improper, illegal and immoral acts against the taxpayers. In some foreign countries a thief like that would be brought into the public square and... USE YOUR IMAGINATION.

Who says the old ways don't work any longer. Give some old fashioned justice to the old codger and lets see what happens to the next low life rat bastard that wants to steal from the taxpayers like Norman Kauff.

Norman Kauff may be the best at stealing from the public but very soon.

Never mind,all shall SEE very soon.

KennyCB said...

While I know what is planned. We will still have to put up with the Kauff defenders for now. Those who will log on and deny culpability on Normans behalf. This until our numbers grow. And very soon they will grow in leaps and bounds. I would love to see the look on Norman's face when he gets the call.

To the defenders YOU ARE ALL F'n GUILTY so do not waste our time trying to defend Kauff you low life scum.

Yes you may be sensing some anger in our tone. But it is not what you think. Everything that will happen will be legal and will be over the top. It will shine the light and force Kauff into the dark corners of his castle. He will hide from the light like the old vampire that he is.

Norman you will soon run dry of your unlimited supply of taxpayer blood Norman.

Start looking for a nursing home to leech off of along with the BARZA GANG. I mean you old friends anyway. Right Norman?

Anonymous said...

UC brother, why attack the PTO? They are just parents trying to help? They do more in town than you ever did, will or can do. I hear you crowing about everything, do you attend BOE meetings? Do you atttend town council meetings? Do you do any volenteer work in town? The answer is NO! Get a life.

Anonymous said...

"ditto" to kennycb, you two are angry bitter boys.

KennyCB said...

WOW MAYBE ITS ME?

But let us review.

With the BARZA lust and greed of power the PTO'S were used improperly during the past several elections and much more. PTO'S assisted those who allowed Quinns laughable leadership to not only exist but to flourish with damaging effects.

These are the same PTO'S who were silent when our taxes went through the roof, when monies were spent on football fields, lighting and security when our computers were not working and our test scores remained in the basement. And do not forget NSectionJoe and his favorite topic and proven waste of tax dollars the $38,000.000.00 construction project, which wasted at least $10,000,000.00 of that $38,000,000.00 through lack of oversight and severely flawed leadership.

By the way that at your next PTO gabfest remind everyone that the construction project which still does not meet all of this school districts needs adds at least $350.00 in taxes just to start every year, on every house in Aberdeen and Matawan. And that is probably forever. But you be proud of your PTO'S.

But I forget you volunteer. You do not volunteer! You are, were and continue to be tools of a corrupt power hungry small minded and divisive group of elected school board members who care little for you. It is all based on you doing exactly what you are told. If you don't you wioll feel the BARZA scorn and rebuke.

Lets face it Zavorskas is a waste of space and obviously has numerous issues. Barbado is an ignorant and power hungry man who thrives on power. And they only surround themselves with a few others who are faithful and blind to their owne desires, for unknown reasons.

Ask former school board member Bill Marinella if he regrets siding with them while he was on the school board? Then you will know that all of your volunteering has hurt, not helped this school district.

So keep going to your PTO meetings and pat each other on the backs for all of your hard work. Like you really made a difference.

You did. You made a negative difference by being blindly led around. By your noses.

KimsMomsHusband said...

Kenny do not waste your time with these Stepford wives. They are all programmed and only worry about themselves. Monies raised have little if any accountability for where they are used or donated to.

They all get some little job or responsibility to make them feel important and beholding to the BARZA. That is what PTO's really are. Nothing more than PACS.

I agree with you 100%. The truth is a terrible thing. Especially to PTO's.

Anonymous said...

Why attack the PTOs?

How about the LLoyd Road PTO, who it recently came to light went out to dinner on PTO money?

How about the Cliffwood PTO that gave a certain board member the PTO member's phone numbers to call when this certain PTO "friend" ran for the board?

Some of the PTOs are as corrupt as the town leaders.

Anonymous said...

It is sad to read this blog sometimes. Between kimsmommouthpiece, useless C and JD Kenny, who think everything is a scandal, no one can do anything good, you 3 must have a lot of friends who enjoy your company. Party invites must come in by the dozens, hey honey lets invite the 3 windbags over so they can whine and complain, cry all night and try to start a riot and burn down the town. Try doing something positive in town if everyone is so bad, run for council, sit on the PTO, run for the BOE, clean up the beach, become a volunteer, try making a difference. We all know you will not, you will stay at home, read this blog and type about how bad everyone is. I can give Joey Warren credit because he at least will write some positive things, attend BOE meetings, and town council meetings sometimes and does research, you DO NOTHING!

Anonymous said...

Well said. Bravo!!!

Anonymous said...

See, I think that is actually part of the problem -- people get so caught up in there own worth - "Hey! I'm on the PTO! I volunteer! I pick up trash! I work on the BOE for NO MONEY, darn it!" that they think they can get away with anything.

Perhaps they start out with the best of intentions, but it seems, somewhere along the way, they start to believe they are better than everyone else because the "do" things.

Just because you spend time volunteering at your kid's school does not mean that you are allowed to use money from the PTO bank account to pay for your meals. That money is supposed to be for the kids and activities, not so you can have wings at the Court Jester.

Just because you have access to the phone numbers of the parents that paid their $5 dues at the beginning of the school year doesn't mean you should pass them on to a friend who is running for the BOE.

Neither should town officials get more money for land than the average citizen. (Insert a long list of offenses from town officials here)

Anonymous said...

So what are you trying to say?

All PTO members are corrupt, all volunteers are corupt? No one can do anything for the good of others but JD drinkerken, Useless brother, and kimsworthlessdad? Shoould we all give up? Not attend meetings? Sit at home and cry to our spouses about everything and do nothing? That's what these people do. Get off your bottoms and do something. To tired from working all day? Have a family? Just rather sit home and watch TV? Get out and make a difference, write a letter to the board, attend a meeting, ask a question to them directly, write a letter to the editor, call the press.

I agree that the PTO board members should spend the money on things "school related" and not hand out info, that is just wrong and should be illegal! But to say that the volunteers are the problem or the guy who walks to the park and picks up trash is just wrong. I would also agree that people start out with good intentions and some do the wrong thing, but does everyone? That seems to be what you are saying?

4previouspostsare... said...

The previous four postings are:

Just defensive mechanisms of the first political lesson.

DENY

DENY

DENY

Whether they be misused and all too eager to suck up PTO members or just house fraus who feel self important as a PTO MOMMY. Nop one cares about the PTO'S. Don't forget their monies collected and used for the PTO's are also something to be questioned, no different than the school budgets purchase orders and receipts.

PTO defenders are No different than our elected officials as you PTO people defend yourselves in the same manner, BUT YOU NEVER ANSWER THE CRITICS QUESTIONS.

Answer just one question or deny the cost overruns and out of control taxes due to our school leadership. The school taxes now account for 70% of your tax bills.It used to be 65%.

Education is expensive but out of control spending has crippled this communities citizens. FACT!

JUSTIFY THAT? YOU CAN'T! YOU WON'T!

Anonymous said...

The last post was PERFECT and also the one thing that politicians and PTO's hate.

It was THE TRUTH.

F BARZA LIVES!

NsectionJoe said...

I agree with 4prevposts.

Education is expensive. But so too is ignorance.

The proof of costs being out of control due to pet projects, special needs students being sent out of district rather than starting a comprehensive in district program, has also cost taxpayers excessively.

Changes soon to come may help control costs when these students who used to be sent away are taught in district. They are our students and those that can be taught in district should be. Certainly extreme needs or students with medical conditions or multiple handicaps need special instruction and care, and they should get the best available. But this district used to just push all such students out to very expensive schools with expensive transportation requirements, when a good majority could have stayed in district. Leadership?

Similarly Bruce Quinn pushing all day kindergarten could have been eased in after a special needs program start up, was under way.

All day kindergarten is great but it should not be a baby sitting service. The results are years away if that works or not, but the costs are now.

Our districts priorities have been to say the least misguided and easily swayed with very negative effects. Very expensive effects.

Once again all of this money for special programs, construction, football fields and much more over the past ten years, and still test scores for the most part remain deplorable.

I apologize for my truthful opinion. Attack away.

look and see said...

I have seen it here before- cannot find the info - or dont have the time to look truthfully....

consider this:

The total payroll of CENTRAL OFFICE administration, the BM, directors of accoutability, and a few other specialized jobs = over 1.1 million dollars alone and that is before principals and teachers......... there is a good start.......

Anonymous said...

I agree it is a good start to clean up the business office but lets not get carried away. This district has been on a spending spree to inprove test scores and only time will tell if that works. Our scores are so dismal they have to improve, but at what cost. Cuts need to be made somewhere before we all can't afford to live here anymore.

Aberdeener said...

The school district may not like to do budget forecasting but I do. So, here's a fun question - This year, the daily operations budget grew 6.4%. At that rate, in how many years will our total annual budget surpass $100,000,000? 8 years.

As for those relying upon the 4% cap to slow them down, I wouldn't. Next year, there will likely be a huge pension shortfall and, at some point, we'll need another referendum for capital spending.

Anonymous said...

I am the person who wrote that the PTO's have been misusing their power.

I was not trying to imply that all volunteers are corrupt. There are plenty of people who volunteer to make a difference. I applaud those people.

But when things are pointed out to the district that corrupt things are going on with the PTO, what happens?

NOTHING.

I even know of a case where one of the current PTO leaders threatened to make sure a child was left out of activities (in writing!) over a disagreement with the child's mother. The letter was forwarded to the principal of the school and the current superintendent. Nothing was done, besides a quick phone call to the parent stating that no child would ever be left out of activities.

That woman is still a co-leader of the PTO.

When things like that and the misappropriation of PTO funds happen, surely people loose faith in the system.

Anonymous said...

They think they have that much power?

In the past they did because Quinn was easily swayed and moved around by BARZA.

Things have changed and BARZA's pissed off.

Nobody cares but their political cronies and those who got the jobs they doled out as rewards for their PTO cronies.

The truth is a terrible thing!

NsectionJoe said...

Correction.

I meant to say pre-Kindergarten programs in my last post, as to test scores versus costs to a community. It is as though our school districts are becoming overly involved, almost raising children for parents from 3 years old in these pre-K programs.

The costs to taxpayers and especially couples who do not have children, taxpayers who choose to pay for private schools coupled with of course our senior citizens, should not be footing the bill for child care services.

The 3 R's of schooling did not include children prior to the age of Kindergarten years ago and we are OK.

But of course with all of the "No child left behind" and "It takes a village" positioning, without funding same, it adds greatly to a districts expenses and of course is un-funded and passed on to all taxpayers for the most part.

We cannot be all things to all people. The time of the phrasings on the Statue of Liberty "Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free" is far too expensive.

Anonymous said...

I've tried to go to PTO meetings several times, they're certainly not welcoming. They only put out enough chairs for the committee people, or hold the meetings in the smallest possible room, look at you strangely when you show up as if to say you don't belong, or roll their eyes if you ask a question.

All PTO members are not this way, but I feel many of them are there to show face, and to advocate on their childs behalf.

Now before the attacks begin, both myself and my husband are very active and volunteer in this district, this community and in our church. I'm not in it for my children to get special treatment, I'm in it to teach my children values, and for them to learn to give of themselves.

The "What's in it for me attitude" around here is overwhelming. Then you wonder why leadership in this community is so corrupt!

Anonymous said...

What you have just described is the exact process that created the Zavorskas MONSTER.

Be warned as freaks come out at night! PTO meetings are at night. Right?

These little clicks are for the typical STEPFORD MOMS. STEPFORD MOMS who all dress the same, look the same and think exactly as they are told. It is all about self importance, and once again it is all appearance rather than substance.

If anyone has noticed none of the PTO people have responded to our questions or examples.

That is because BARZA must be away on vacation in that far away land of misfit board members.

Yes we are very pissed off at leadership that fails its public.


BARZA is that supposed leadership.

Anonymous said...

Maybe none of the PTO people read this blog? Maybe they don't feel they need to answer you? Maybe you should get a life?!

Anonymous said...

Yes, maybe we should get a life while the PTO momsters spend all of our gift wrap money on a night out.

How exactly is that helping our kids or community?

Free dinner? Dang, maybe I SHOULD join the PTO.

Except every time I've shown up for anything, the momsters stand together in a clinch and ignore the non committee members and make you feel like you aren't wanted there.

And they make all the decisions at the executive meetings. It's not like showing up at the public meetings does anything. They tell you what they are going to do and expect you to show up and help them do it. And then ignore you.

Yes, I want to spend more time with them.

Anonymous said...

Anon. above,
Exactly, I couldn't have said it better myself!!!
You feel like you're back in H.S. with that crowd. A bunch of petty, catty women following the "popular" girl. They all need to grow up, and have a thought of their own.

Anonymous said...

Amen!

Anonymous said...

PTO moms have a mind of their own.

Their is an oxymoron in their somewhere we can be sure.

PTO is nothing more than the mean girls all getting together and doing exactly what the Zavorskas MONSTER tells the to.

So much for independent thought.

Anonymous said...

You folks have got to be kidding. why don't you stop complining and get involved.

Anonymous said...

What is going on at the high school. My daugter came home and told me kids were dressed up as french maids for halloween. Where is the adminsitration?

Anonymous said...

I agree with the above posting. What is happening with this year's administration in the High School? I was surprised by some of the costumes I saw leaving school on Friday and I have to say, I'm not a fan of other attire I've seen students wearing to school this year, including slippers, flip flops, and instances of too much exposure on some of the young ladies (skirts and shorts that are too short, jeans that are too low and plunging necklines). I thought our district had a dress code. Seems to be a problem with enforcement and that needs to be addressed. Also, is the Administration trying a new, liberal approach with students this year? Why are students in the High School not required to wear their ID cards...they just need to be able to present it when asked. I'm sorry, but with the sad recent history of High School & College campus violence and massacres, I think this district needs to stick to the security plan that was formulated, and put into place, to safeguard each and every person in a district school building...PERIOD.
To the High School Administration, I ask you to enforce the dress code and enforce the safety plan by ensuring that students wear their ID cards. Yes, it means more work in terms of referrals to the office and discipline, but that is part of the job description.
On a different note, can someone explain why a high ranking member of the Athletic deparment parks their shiny, new status car in a handicap parking spot, when clearly that individual is not hancicapped. Just because you can obtain a hanicap placard and place it on your rear view mirror, clearly that doesn't give you the right to park in the closet spot to the door...one intended for a person with a disability. Nothing aggravates me more than to see able bodied individual abuse a handicap parking placard for their own selfish use. It's an abuse of authority and it is shameful. How you don't feel ashmaed of yourself for abusing the handicap parking placard...I don't know. I hope this individual realizes that he is sending the wrong message to students in terms of beating the system, just to have a "primo" parking spot for his macho car. To that individual I say, park in an appropriate parking spot and remember that as an administrator and coach, you need to be a positive role model and it starts with taking responsibility when doing something that is clearly unjustifiable.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Couldn't agree more ... or have said it better. Well done!

Anonymous said...

You wouldn't be talking about the great and powerful oz, would you?

Anonymous said...

The high school was going in the right direction. What changed? O'Malley?

Anonymous said...

Isn't it the responsibility of the High School Administration team to handle issues related to student dress and security? The High School has a team of highly paid administrators, from the principal on down, and I would expect that it is in their realm of responsiblity to address issues at the High School.

Anonymous said...

Ok- I agree,but if they aren't doing their job-then whose job is it to make sure they do?

Anonymous said...

I love my job as a teacher of students with "different" learning abilities in the MARSD. I enter school with a smile & leave with one as well. The best part of my day is spent with my students. Thanks MARSD!