Written by Rick Smith Friday, 16 October 2009 00:00
At the last Glen Cove Board of Education meeting, held on Oct. 5, Superintendent Dr. Laurence Aronstein announced that the NY State audit was ready to be released and would be posted on the school district web site the next day. He went on to tell those present how good the report was, and I quote, “There were no findings of fraud, or malfeasance, incompetence or anything else. The report basically says that we’re doing a very good job.”
Nothing could be further from the truth! That report, with information analyzed only from July 1, 2007 to Oct. 31, 2008, paints a horrible picture of mismanagement, ineptitude and violation of New York State Law. Among other things, the report states that: “The board did not comply with Education Law regarding fiscal oversight training for board members. Two of the seven board members did not obtain the required six-hour training on financial oversight, accountability and fiduciary responsibilities. Additionally, a third board member did not obtain training within the first year of his election, although he completed the required training 29 months later.”
“The board members’ decision to not comply with the law and obtain the training resulted in their failure to properly fulfill all of their financial oversight, accountability and fiduciary responsibilities, placing the district at an increased risk of waste, misuse or theft of its cash assets.” Newsday reported that our current board member, Richard Tortorici, is one of the violators. As of last week, he still had not complied with the law, nearly a year after the report’s end.
The report goes on to say: “District officials have not established adequate controls over payments in lieu of health insurance and did not segregate payroll duties to effectively safeguard district assets.”
“In addition, district officials did not adequately segregate key duties related to payroll processing.”
“District officials did not always adhere to the district’s purchasing policies. . .” And on and on it goes.
This report is for only one year of Dr. Aronstein’s four years here. If this is a good report to Dr. Aronstein, then he is truly in La La Land, so out of touch is he with reality, and has been for years. This district is no place for him. He should resign or be removed from his position immediately as should Board Member Tortorici.