Chatham learns budget deficit greater than initially thought
Karrie Allen is reporting in the Chatham Courier the Chatham Town Board learned last week that not only did its accounting firm determine the town's expenditures exceeded revenue for several years, but the resulting shortfall was much greater than the board anticipated. The board hired the Hudson-based CPA firm, Pattison, Koskey, Howe & Bucci early this year. On June 28, Mike Bucci and Lisa Gill from the accounting firm informed Chatham Town Supervisor Maria Lull, Balcom, budget officer Tammy Shaw and consultant Michael Richardson that for at least the last three years, the town's annual budget shortfall was averaging more than $200,000 per year. The current Town Board claims the previous board was unaware the deficit was being addressed by taking money from the town’s fund balance. As a result, the fund was depleted by 2015. The town’s Citizens Finance and Planning Committee will develop the 2017 budget. The committee will also create a long-term financial plan, create documentation on employee compensation and benefits, and employment practices and safety. During the coming month, the Citizens Finance and Planning Committee will meet with all town departments to discuss ways to reduce operating expenses and find potential revenue sources. In the meantime, the town has implemented a freeze on discretionary spending for all town employees, departments and committees. Read the full story in the Chatham Courier.