In Advance of Election Day – Audit Letter Related to TESD $1.2 Million Accounting Error Arrives

At the T/E School Board meeting last night, there were a number of questions from residents about the District’s finances, budget process, etc. including a question that I asked about the status of the $1.2 million accounting error. If you recall four months ago, on June 11, the school board voted 6-3 for the District to take responsibility for the error and to correct the District audits and AFRs (annual financial reports) for 2016/17 and 2017/18.

It is now over 4 months since the school board voted to direct the District to correct the audit and AFRs but neither the board nor the administration has provided an update on this important accounting issue. Although the business manager bristled at my use of “accounting error” (what else should you call it?) after some back and fro between the school board president and the business manager, the upshot was that it should be completed by November 15 – 5 months since the vote took place.

Facing a lengthy agenda, I left the meeting about 9 PM. However at the end of the meeting, there was school board discussion about a letter from Maillie LLP, the District’s auditing firm.  It was agreed that the letter would be made available to the public.  So … today at least two residents reported they went to the Administration Building and were told that the letter would be released on Friday.  It was impossible for me to understand WHY it should take four additional days for the letter to be released – was it because the contents of the letter needed to be slow-rolled in advance of Election Day on Nov. 5?

As luck would have it, we don’t have to wait until Friday – I have a copy of the October 16 letter written by Edward Furman, CPA from Maillie.  From my vantage point, it looks like the District business manager has a lot of explaining to do about the $1.2 million accounting error and the timeline  – some of his stories are not lining up! Furman’s letter contains extremely important financial information related to the $1.2 million accounting error but I leave the specifics of what it all means to our “financial experts”.

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  1. So the story of “in the fall of 2017, the auditor knew about our error and accounting treatment” and the Business Managers assurance that “the auditors signed-off on this accounting treatment” are UNTRUE! As the auditor says “the appropriate person to be informed….were not made aware of this issue until April 2019”. We were defrauded by the Admin who insisted the Auditors were informed at the time (the Board was defrauded and by extension ALL of us!).

    It was never included in the Management Letter to the Board in 2017 or 2018 because the Auditor was NOT informed. One or more members of the Administration decided on their own to not inform the Board OR the auditor of a major accounting error ($1.2 MM). The auditor works for the Board and is their independent check on the business operations of the District. Why have they not found this out before, like when the community begged them to: “call your auditor”.

    This issue now rests squarely on the members of the Administration who did know and elected to submit erroneous financial reports to the State…WITHOUT notifying the Board or the Board’s auditor. I think it’s FRAUD and now the District has to go through the time and expense of re-submitting State Financial Disclosure forms. What a waste? Can we keep these people in our employ???? I think not.

    [Reply]

  2. It was very curious that the Roos August presentation dealing with Audit problems had no information from the auditor. The letter produced by Pattye above finally provides input from the auditor (2 months later).

    Roos in his presentation says, “Concurrent with the processing of the invoices and recording of the expense in the 2017-2018 fiscal year, the District informed its independent auditor of the found unpaid invoices and asked what, if anything, it had to do with respect to the 2016-2017 financial statements”.
    The auditor Mr. Furman in his letter directly contradicts the Roos statement by saying, “Eric Gooding, Principal, or I were not made aware of this issue until April 2019 , well after the audit report date of November 29, 2017.”

    So who do we believe? Do we believe the district’s representative Mr. McDonnell who says he informed the auditor? Or do we believe Mr. Furman who says he was never informed of the unpaid invoices?

    The answer is very important. One other the other has to go. The district can’t employ an auditor that fails to mention problem invoices in the Schedule of Passed Audit Adjustments and does not include these invoices in the management letter. Neither can the district employ a business manager who hides financial problems and falsely certifies an audit.

    This is an issue that needs a thorough independent investigation; not a few disjointed questions from board members with minimal financial expertise during a Finance Committee meeting .

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  3. Agree with Neal and Keith.

    “Can we keep these people in our employ?”

    “This is an issue that needs a thorough independent investigation; not a few disjointed questions from board members with minimal financial expertise during a Finance Committee meeting .”

    Will President Dorsey and the Board do the right thing?

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  4. We now find:

    – The TESD management representation letter was signed after the invoices were paid but had no mention of the mis-classification
    – The Auditors did not find out about the issue until April 2019, AFTER the big reveal at the March 11th Finance committee meeting
    – The Auditors passed no judgment as to whether the matter was material or not

    The community identified, researched, analyzed and communicated the problem to the Board and the public for six months.

    The Administration has provided incorrect or misleading information to the State (in certified filings), the Board and the public throughout this matter.

    The Auditor dated this letter TWO WEEKS ago, yet the Board wanted to delay publication even further, until Friday. Board members are posting on Facebook that they are upset with the Auditor, and providing yet more incorrect information as recently as tonight (at a candidater forum)!

    Question for the public:
    Which candidates in the upcoming election have the best chance to fix the problems so revealed?

    Questions for the Board, our representatives:
    a) To what extent are you accountable?
    b) What is the right action to take, collectively and personally?

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    T/E Anonymous Parent Reply:

    My best guess for the two week delay was that there was some further legal review of the situation. Beyond any internal controls of the District being an absolute joke (auditors act as a check and balance to information they receive and not information they don’t know exist!) this matter is starting to creep closer and closer to criminal liability. I am not saying it is a crime (just yet), but the Board and Administration should be circling the wagons tighter. Not only is this a situation of what they didn’t know about the $1.2 million mistake, it now is more of a question of trying to figure out what else they don’t know about.

    Additionally, moving forward the Board needs more independently verifiable checks and balances. Additional cost, expense, and exposure to unforeseen risk so that we can retain a $200,000 employee for the next five years.

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    Pattye Reply:

    I certainly hope that outside legal counsel has been sought. When you are inside the bubble it can be difficult to see how it is viewed from the outside. Over the last 8 months, as this $1.2 million accounting error has been in the forefront of discussion for many in the public, there has been a resistance by some on the Board to consider that there was actually a problem. The support of the business manager by certain members of the Board has been remarkable, to say the least, especially as more facts are surfacing.

    As late as this last Board meeting during the public comment period – I was the first to speak and as soon as I referred to the $1.2 million error — the business manager quickly jumped in to correct me that the $1.2 million was “NOT an accounting error”. I said months ago at a meeting, we all make mistakes in life — just own it, make it right and move on. I am certainly in no position to say whether the business manager maliciously made the “mistake” but certainly there needs to be culpability for the cover-up that has ensued since the issue first surface and continues today …

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    Easttowner Reply:

    Pattye,

    Thank-you. You say:

    “”””the business manager quickly jumped in to correct me that the $1.2 million was “NOT an accounting error”. “”””””

    Why does calling it an accounting error uoset Art McDonnell? Why did he quickly jump in to correct you? What meaning does that have? Does anyone know what Art McDonnell calls it?

    Easttowner Reply:

    T/E Anonymous Parent,

    “Circling the wagons tighter” does not work. It makes it worse. It protects wrong doers and hangs a financial albatross around the necks of parents and taxpayers. Protecting wrong doers is wrong, sends the wrong message to our young people and teaches them to mistrust authority.

    We need a thorough independent investigation…..now.

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    T/E Anonymous Parent Reply:

    I’m not promoting the idea of circling the wagons…I’m just characterizing what they are doing metaphorically.

    An investigation is definitely needed, and perhaps that is what is being done. The Board doesn’t necessarily need to make an announcement that it is conducting an investigation into the Administration and the Business Manager. In fact, it would be foolish to do so for many reasons, including but not limited to a loss of public trust even if it is ultimately determined no wrongdoing occurred.

    I don’t know the law so perhaps I’m overstepping my bounds, but public officials can have personal civil/criminal liability if they conduct their duties in a willfully malicious and/or grossly negligent matter. So they have a personal interest in determining what happened (and what is to be newly discovered via the audit).

    Lack of knowledge of a wrongdoing may act as a defense, but lack of response to discovery of a potential wrongdoing does not act as a defense.

  5. Ummm does anyone else find Michele Burger’s comment that Neal quoted to be extremely suspicious? Burger is fixing to blame Maile for what appears clearly to be district error. And she gets her statement out just before we see the Maile letter? Why is she covering for them??

    Burger: “ Last spring, I was the only Board member questioning whether we should/could break the terms of their contract and hire a new auditor. It was too late in the year to find a new auditor and this is the last year of their contract. With that said, Maille needs to be held accountable (no pun intended) and answer all questions at the Finance committee meeting.”

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  6. Some board members ask why we keep harping on this topic. Some of the reasons are because 1) we still don’t know the whole truth, 2) some board members still seem oblivious that they were lied to, 3) the public is tired of Art not telling the truth

    Art has been telling lies, half truths, and misdirections for many years now. Many TESD staff understand this and many members of the public understand this. How is it possible that some board members still don’t understand this? Why does the superintendent allow this?

    [Reply]

    Neal Colligan Reply:

    …AND the Auditor could not do their job. They are under contract to report accounting errors and break-downs in District internal controls directly to their client- The Board. They could not do that as the Admin did not inform them of the “lost” invoices (they had THAT obligation to inform in their 11/29/17 Management Representation letter- The Board should release that document too before the Auditor gets here!). The Audit work is the Board’s key verification point on the Business Operations of the District. But the Auditor’s work could not be completed due to Management’s lack of disclosure. That’s REALLY dangerous for a public (or private) institution.

    The Board MUST take action…. in my opinion anyway.

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  7. After telling residents today that they could not have a copy of the auditor’s letter until Friday — we find out tonight that Michele Burger announces at a BUILD T/E school board candidate forum that the letter went on the District website tonight. I guess once the information was out there that the letter was on Community Matters, the District worked quickly to get the letter uploaded and make it appear that they are transparent.

    Personally, I find this rather disingenuous to the residents. Don’t go to the TESD website and expect to find the letter easily — you have to go to three or four screens to finally get to it.

    We deserve better in T/E!

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  8. Art and now we know Michele, and Todd, Roberta and Kyle will deny, deny deny and then blame the Auditor. Art will never admit wrong doing or take responsibility. He is protected and shielded at the highest levels. There will be no consequences unless President Scott Dorsey and company conduct a thorough independent investigation rather than people with little to no financial experience or background asking disjointed questions at a sham finance committee meeting.

    Come on Scott, stand up and do the right thing for this community. Character is everything. Right?

    [Reply]

  9. The Maillie audit letter, was given to TE board’s leadership on October 16th!
    Why wasn’t it revealed to the public THEN?
    For over six months the public have been requesting answers to this topic!

    Why didn’t Michele Burger, VP and Scott Dorsey, President, Show Leadership and reveal the letter then?
    Transparency starts at the top—not a week before election night.

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  10. It’s the second oldest trick in the book.

    Bury embarrassing, incriminating news about yourselves on your website late on the night the information was already exposed to the public (by Pattye) to make it look like you’re being transparent and hope citiizens won’t find it, but if they do call you out on it, you can say it’s there.

    It’s highly likely this is what SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATE Michele Berger strategy was when she announced the letter was on the District website at the BUILD/TE candidate for School Board forum last night.

    Is this who we want to represent us for four more years? Michele is running for Re election on the School Board. Vote accordingly next Tuesday.

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  11. It is indisputable that there was a Control Deficiency (lost CCIU invoices worth $1.2M) which should have been identified and communicated to the Board in a Management Letter. This is auditing 101.

    From General Auditing Standards:
    The auditor must communicate in writing to management and the audit committee all significant deficiencies and material weaknesses identified during the audit. The written communication should be made prior to the issuance of the auditor’s report on the financial statements. The auditor’s communication should distinguish clearly between those matters considered significant deficiencies and those considered material weaknesses, as defined in paragraphs .02 and .03. https://pcaobus.org/Standards/Auditing/Pages/AS1305.aspx

    The business manager would say it was the auditor’s fault because they were notified and failed to note the Control Deficiency in the audit. The auditor says they were never notified of the deficiency. For argument sake let’s assume the former – the auditor was notified. Even so, this doesn’t let the business manager “off-the-hook”. He should have 1)documented the deficiency in the Client Representation letter and 2) notified the Board that the audit was in error.

    I believe it more likely that the latter was true – the auditor was never notified. If so, the district has a business manager that cannot be trusted. For this reason the Board should employ an independent agent to thoroughly investigate the situation. The current solicitor Mr. Roos is not an independent agent.

    And lastly, does the board know they have/had a control deficiency and has it been corrected? If not, it’s likely there will be lost invoices in the future.

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  12. Could not agree more, this is basic accounting 101. I started watching school board meetings when the incorrect accounting/filing was first suggested by members of the public. Had just one school board director called the auditor months ago, the public could have known the truth. We elect these school board directors as our oversight, where is it? And we are supposed to believe that this board can oversee a $40 million school expansion project with McDonnell as the business manager. $1.2 MM accounting error may be just the beginning!

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    Doug Anestad Reply:

    Accountant in Paoli, could you please reach out to me personally? I have some questions for you. My email is doug@anestad.com. Thanks.

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  13. Thank-you School Board Candidate Doug Anestad…… and Keith Knauss, Ray Clarke and Neal Colligan for once again lending your financial expertise and knowledge so everyone can clearly understand what is going on.

    The Administration and Vice President of the School Board and School Board Candidate Michele Berger are once again asking us to deny the evidence of our eyes and ears.

    Pay close attention. We are getting valuable insights real time into how this Board truly operates one week before Election Day. Note how Michele can lie and obfuscate right before your eyes, while still trying to come across as honest and trustworthy.

    I heard President Scott Dorsey give a speech to a group of our most academic and talented students last year.

    And I quote:

    “Character is the most important thing you can have. Do the right thing.”

    It’s time for President Dorsey to stand up and practice what he preaches.

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  14. In my mind Scott Dorsey is a good and fair public servant.. As he says, “sometimes we don’t get there as fast as some would like, but give us a chance to get to the right place”. I believe that. And to be fair to Michelle, her expertise is not in accounting and I doubt any of the Board truly understands the relationship between the Independent Auditor and the Board (their direct client). Still, they had every opportunity to reach out to the Auditor these last 8 months that this has been going on…no Board member did that (to my knowledge) although the community begged them to have this DIRECT conversation.

    This is not to say this is all OK. It is not. Where is the Board Audit Committee? Why is there no direct and regular contact between the Board and the Auditor? The Auditor is “checking up” on the Business Systems/Operations of the Admin – why would the Board communicate with the Auditor only through the Admin? They (Admin) are the group “subject” to the Audit. Here, again, is an area where the Board could receive help from the public (Audit Committee)…but they didn’t want a Literacy Committee populated by knowledgeable private citizens so I don’t have much hope for community input on an Audit Committee.

    The Board should make public it’s Engagement Letter (from 2017) with the Auditor and the Management Representation Letter of 11/29/17. Citizens have filed RTK requests for these documents…they could be expedited if the Board chooses. Then we can all have a “talk” with the Auditor on Nov. 11.

    [Reply]

    Pattye Reply:

    Neal, I’m sure others join me in saying thank you! I truly want to believe that our elected officials are interested in correcting this situation. All you and others (including myself) ever wanted this past year was for the Board/Administration to acknowledge there was an accounting error, investigate what happened and to correct it.

    We are fortunate to have financial experts like you willing to help all of us – the public’s confidence in the financial management of the District needs to be restored.

    [Reply]

    Easttowner Reply:

    Neal,

    The issue is not if President Scott Dorsey and Vice President and Board Candidate Michele Berger are good and fair people or not.

    The issue is about their ability to run this District, their understanding that they are in charge, they are the boss, they are in office to serve the public, not run interference for and protect and shield the Administration from accountability and wrong doing.

    Michelle, by her own admission, wants to “fire the Auditor” without a single mention of an independent thorough investigation to get to the bottom of this mess created by the Administration.

    Neal, Like Michele, I don’t have an accounting degree, I am the least smartest person I know, I understand exactly what is going on and so do you and so does everyone else. It is maddening to sit on the sidelines and watch as Board Members pretend like nothing is happening and then say things like, “I wanted to fire the Auditor”.

    Neal, I called the Auditor myself last Spring. The receptionist patched me through to Mr. Furman. I left a detailed message describing the issue and asking him pertinent questions and gave him my name number and residence. I was kind and polite. The call took a minute and he did not get back to me. Maybe he would have had I been able to say “my name is Michele Berger and I am a BOARD MEMBER and I am in charge, not Art McDonnel.” But Michele nor any other BOARD MEMBER called him. Michele chose to blame him without investigation. Neal, an accounting degree is not required to pick up a phone and call an Auditor to ask questions to get to the bottom of a serious, serious breech like this one.

    Just like I don’t feel sorry for Mary Itin for crying while telling parents she suports them right before voting against them for a Literacy Committee that costs nothing, I don’t feel sorry for Michele Berger because she doesn’t have an Accounting degree and protects and shields the Administration from wrong doing while blaming the Auditor without a word of conducting a thorough independent investigation.

    I’m sure Michele is a good person. That’s not the issue. Her actions demonstrate she does not possess the knowledge, the skill, the expertise nor the understanding to run this District.

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  15. Nothing surprises me anymore. Lies, deceit,lack of accountability,and a pervasive attitude of being “untouchable” have become endemic within TESD.

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  16. Can’t stand Board members with resigned shrug of the shoulders anymore.
    Can’t stand Board members acting in self defense anymore.
    Can’t stand party aligned voting anymore.

    Can’t stand Board members denying ANY and ALL issues brought by community, saying everything is wonderful and TE is such the best District.

    I don’t care if Board members are finance or reading or special educ or whatever specialists. I am not any of these but I’m smart and honest enough to know things are wrong.

    It’s definitely not a matter of specific knowledge. Never was. It’s a matter of character.
    We need Board Members that are BRAVE enough to act as the BOSSES and check the administration’s work.
    We need Board Members that are BRAVE enough to say NO.
    We need Board Members that are BRAVE enough to ask questions and demand the answers, without the pretty please behavior.
    We need Board Members that are BRAVE enough to do their jobs as representatives of the residents, not as representatives of the administration. This is 101 Management.

    Election night is coming. Be smart, people! It has everything to do with you: you are paying the bills. You need to be BRAVE enough to do your research and see how candidates position themselves. You need to be BRAVE enough to not base your vote on parties only.

    Share this link to all residents you know. Your neighbors, your friends, your PTOs. Share it, comment it, mention it. Lamenting later won’t help in anything.

    [Reply]

  17. A number of excellent comments above by Neal, Ray, Keith, Doug, Pattye and several anonymous posters!

    I stopped posting here as “Mike in Berwyn” almost nine years ago when I ran for the Tredyffrin Board of Supervisors, where I served from February, 2011 through 2015. This School District saga caught my attention back this past spring and I have followed the accounting issue very closely, reviewed source documents and filings, and watched or attended every School Board and many Finance Committee meetings over the past 7 months. A few observations:

    – While the Board members seem to be working hard, the governance model is broken. Many members of the Board allow the District administration to take the lead in setting the agenda, policy, and budget. These are core Board functions and should be Board directed. The culture needs to change and every Board member needs to understand the administration reports to the Board, as does the Auditor. A few Board members get it – Ed Sweeney, Scott Dorsey, Kate Murphy. Others are getting there, expressing frustration at the lack of responsiveness and information – Heather Ward was particularly notable. A few are still in the thrall of the Business Manager. I am utterly astounded by the first sentence of Kantorczyk and Hotinski’s responses to Question #2 disagreeing with the “district has acknowledged some lapses in its fiscal management.” Wow. Maybe the District STAFF has not acknowledged the lapses but the majority of the District’s BOARD has acknowledged serious issues as evidenced by multiple votes to investigate the issues, fix the reports, and revise fiscal policies.

    – The audit matter is complicated. In simple terms, over $1.1mm of invoices were either not disclosed to the auditor or disclosed to a junior person who had no authority to make the call on their handling. The Business Manager knew the impact on District’s ability to raise taxes and its financial reporting. He knowingly filed multiple financial reports which were in violation of PA’s accounting rules for school districts. He hid this matter from the Board for well over a year, even as he negotiated a lucrative new employment agreement. Since this issue was disclosed early this year, the drip, drip, drip… of additional disclosure continues as the Board and staff spend enormous time and energy trying to find out what happened and what to do about it. They need an independent investigation, once and for all.

    – At the polls, voters should look at every individual County and local race. There are qualified experienced candidates with a track record. Ed Sweeney and Kate Murphy are voices of reason on this Board and represent all of the District’s stakeholders well, including the taxpayers. Particularly right now, we need independent voices and leadership and I am concerned about the conflicts of interest of former District employees, Sue Tiede and Stacy Stone.

    The District’s current challenges are substantial but fixable by the Board. It’s a matter of Board members understanding their role, gathering information, and acting decisively.

    [Reply]

    Interested parent Reply:

    Kate Murphy is a current School Board member why shouldn’t she also be responsible?

    [Reply]

    Easttowner Reply:

    It appears you haven’t been paying attention.

    Kate and Ed Sweeney have asked for information from the administration and have been stonewalled, because Admin is being protected by the non-transparent Democrat majority – you know, the ones who want to fire the auditors before an investigation is done.

    Kate and Ed also voted against the unfair tax increase that passed 7 – 2 along party lines, without the Democrat majority (remember, they control everything, don’t they) demanding more information from Admin – that is, being responsible financial stewards for the T-E community. They just couldn’t wait to raise taxes with a contract year coming up. Why?

    So here are Kate and Ed fighting with the majority Democrats for more transparency and accountability and you want to smear them with the same brush? Please. On what basis?

    As I stated, you appear to not have been paying attention.

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  18. Vote out the lying Democrats! And send the criminal Art McDonnell to jail for fraud. We deserve better that this slime running our school district.

    [Reply]

  19. There was an error that occurred in the Reading School District back in 2013 that was not exactly the same but resulted in a similar scenario with the administration, school board, and auditors all pointing the finger at one another.

    http://www2.readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=442522

    [Reply]

    Ray Clarke Reply:

    Just saw this – great research, Resident! A direct parallel and note: a) the district officials … are no longer with the district” and b) given the economics of journalism these days, it takes community members to report on issues like this.

    From the article:
    “In that statement, Pamela W. Baker, a partner, said the firm was relying on information from the district that ended up being incorrect.

    And when the firm sat down with district officials to finalize the audit, the statement says, district officials signed off on the report, indicating there were no transactions that had been improperly recorded.

    The district officials who worked with Barbacane officials on that audit are no longer with the district.”

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  20. This whole thing reminds me of a story I once read about the New England Patiots back in the early-90s, after Bill Parcells had taken over as the head coach.

    May of you probably do not remember, but the Patriots were the punching bag and laughing stock of the NFL for a few years before Parcells took over and took them to the Super Bowl.

    It was in the season they finally turned it around, they were in the locker room at halftime – getting beaten again – and Parcells looked at his team and said,

    “Sooner or later you’re going to have to decide you’re not going to take it anymore.”

    Well, that’s where we are as voters. If we vote for the same people who are part of the problem, we will get the same result – kind of like this saying commonly attribute to Albert Einstein: “Insanity Is Doing the Same Thing Over and Over Again and Expecting Different Results”.

    If you keep voting for the same people who are enabling, or part of, the incompetence, lack of transparency, obfuscation, dishonesty and other assorted transgressions detailed in posts above – you are going to get the same thing, regardless of your party loyalty or how much you want to wish it away or hope these people will change.

    They won’t – and, despite your thinking otherwise, if you vote for them YOU are part of the problem.

    YOU GET WHAT YOU VOTE FOR.

    [Reply]

    Easttowner 1 Reply:

    There are two commenters using the same screen name…Easttowner.

    [Reply]

  21. It appears you haven’t been paying attention.

    Kate and Ed Sweeney have asked for information from the administration and have been stonewalled, because Admin is being protected by the non-transparent Democrat majority – you know, the ones who want to fire the auditors before an investigation is done.

    Kate and Ed also voted against the unfair tax increase that passed 7 – 2 along party lines, without the Democrat majority (remember, they control everything, don’t they) demanding more information from Admin – that is, being responsible financial stewards for the T-E community. They just couldn’t wait to raise taxes with a contract year coming up. Why?

    So here are Kate and Ed fighting with the majority Democrats for more transparency and accountability and you want to smear them with the same brush? Please. On what basis?

    As I stated, you appear to not have been paying attention.

    [Reply]

    Easttowner 1 Reply:

    Brilliant summary Easttowner, I couldn’t agree more.

    Let’s remember that it was also Kate and Ed who proposed and voted for parents/taxpayers on the Literacy Committee that the Administration does not want them to have. Why doesn’t the Administration want to create a Literacy Committee?

    I’m glad you brought up the contract year coming up. Interesting that not one candidate talked about it in their responses to Pattye’s questions. It’s the largest item in the budget and the biggest cost driver, yet Roberta chooses to talk about and blame “the variable unknown costs” of special education instead of addressing the smothering elephant in the room……teacher/administrator salaries, healthcare and retirement for the never ending huge tax increases Art proposes every year.

    I agree with your speculation that it’s a for gone conclusion in Arts mind……the teachers will be granted huge outlandish salary increases on top of their over the top outlandish salaries, therefore the deceptive, underhanded tactics used to justify big tax increases to unsuspecting taxpayers.

    [Reply]

    Easttowner 1 Reply:

    I remember well the last contract “negotiation.” It wasnt a “negotiation” at all. The Board chose Art McDonnell to “negotiate” with the teachers union. An absolute joke.

    CHS Union President Bob Siscipio called every shot from the sidelines……before it happened. He predicted when the “negotiation” would be over, what raises the teachers would receive and how each side would react and feel with the news. He was right…..about everything. How did he know? Was the whole process orchestrated? Will it be orchestrated this time too?

    [Reply]

  22. CHS Union President Bob S., Business Manager Art McDonnell and the Administration run this District.

    Some of them are so arrogant, they let you know……before events happen, that they’re going to happen.

    [Reply]

  23. This year, yes vote Republican for Kate Murphy and Ed Sweeney and vote for Independent Doug Anestad.

    It’s not a party affiliation thing. It’s a do the right thing and vote for the candidates who are honest, have integrity and have demonstrated through their actions they have the character to do the job.

    I don’t remember the last time I voted R, and I’m a registered R. I voted for Heather Ward and many D’s who made me happy I did.

    Not this time.

    I go to meetings. I see what happens. The R’s are honest and trust worthy. They do the right thing. They believe the evidence of their eyes and ears and respond accordingly.

    They don’t turn a blind eye to corruption and they work hard to keep taxes in line while they listen to and respect parents and taxpayers.

    Mary Itin, Stacy Stone, Sue Tiede……haven’t seen or heard of any of them (except Ex Administrator Sue Tiede)?until now. At least Stacy Stone started going to meetings right after Board Candidate Michele Berger asked her to be her running mate. Why would School Board Candidate Michele Berger ask an ex teacher to be her running mate?

    Ed, Kate and Doug are experienced, Professional
    and honest.

    Please vote for Kate Murphy, Ed Sweeney and Doug Anestad, not because they are R and I, but because they have demonstrated through their actions they are right for this job.

    ***I think theres 2+ Easttowners posting comments now. Let’s get it to 10. Vote for Kate Murphy
    Easttown.

    [Reply]

  24. I would not put Michele in the same boat as Todd, Roberta, and Kyle. She backed changing the AFRs and has not stated that the board has been given all the information needed in a timely manner. As a matter of fact, I believe she has been upset in the past for the administration withholding information to the board until the last minute.

    [Reply]

    Easttowner 1 Reply:

    Doug,

    I heard that Michele stated on her website that she wanted to “fire the Auditor” last Spring. If that’s true, why would she want to fire the Auditor without a thorough independent investigation to determine if in fact the Auditor was truly at fault rather than the Business Manager Art McDonnell. Sounds like she wants to protect and shield the Business Manager to me.

    All these Board Members says their upset about the Administration not giving them info in a timely manner etc. Who is the boss? Who is in charge? Why doesn’t the Board demand accountability?

    [Reply]

    Doug Anestad Reply:

    It is my personal opinion that she has been mislead on what an auditor is and is not supposed to do. I am hoping that will change after the upcoming finance committee meeting this coming Monday with the auditor.

    [Reply]

    Easttown 1 Reply:

    For what you say to be true, then she only listens to and believes Art because experienced, educated, smart citizens like Ray, Carol, Mike, Neal, Keith (experienced Board Director) and you have repeatedly told her otherwise.

    It sounds like you are protecting and shielding her from protecting and shielding Art and the Administration.

    Doug Anestad Reply:

    I am not protecting or shielding anyone. If you watch me at meetings, you know that I speak the truth – no matter how inconvenient it is for some people. Like I said, we will see after the Monday meeting. I hope I am right. If not, then I will say as much at that time.

    Easttowner 1 Reply:

    The fact that not one Board Member picked up the phone and called the Auditor in over 5 months says it all.

    We have an all D Board with 1 School Administrator, 2 teachers and Roberta who works in higher education.

    Our taxes will soar and the money will go straight into the pockets of over paid Administrators and teachers.

  25. TE Anonymous Parent,

    A tax payer funded school district means tax payers have a right to know if an investigation is being conducted on the Business Manager and the Administration—-yes it does.

    [Reply]

    T/E Anonymous Parent Reply:

    What legal authority do you rely on in making that statement?

    [Reply]

  26. Doug – did you see the auditor is now not coming.
    Unbelievable.

    [Reply]

    Pattye Reply:

    The agenda for the Finance Committee meeting for Monday night is out –https://www.tesd.net/cms/lib/PA01001259/Centricity/Domain/56/11112019%20DRAFT%20Finance%20Committee%20Agenda.pdf

    The agenda contains the following announcement:
    “On November 7, 2019, the District was informed by Maillie that the Local Audit Reports for FY18-19,
    FY17-18, and FY16-17 were not complete. They will be presented at the December 9, 2019, meeting.”

    Frankly, I find the timely highly suspicious (and convenient!) — put off the accounting firm’s appearance until the school board has its newly elected members in December. Without the re-election of Ed and Kate, most likely there will be less questions from the school board. Would love to know if it was the auditor’s decision to delay their appearance by a month?

    [Reply]

    Easttowner Reply:

    Heather and Pattye,

    Agree 100%.

    Okay Stacey Stone. What are you going to do? I asked you face to face, point blank, can you stand alone and stand up to the Administration. You answered, YES

    Nows your chance. You’re on. What are you going to do?

    [Reply]

  27. The TESD check register dated 10/01/19. —10/31/19

    Check # 130023.
    10/4/19
    Sue Tiede
    $412.08

    Sue,

    If you’re not working for the District, and not paid by the District, please explain the above.

    Thanks

    [Reply]

  28. The Democrats hate Donald Trump so much, they shoot themselves in the foot by voting in an all D School Board on the local level. It doesn’t hurt Donald Trump one little bit. It helps him by giving him a window in to how things are looking for him for 2020 in the suburbs so he can adjust accordingly.

    The District runs better when 2 parties are partly in control. We are way worse off when one party is in complete control.

    Have to have limits on operations of Administrators.

    [Reply]

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