It’s Time The State Comptroller’s Office Looked Into The Town Of Carroll’s Finances

Something is amiss in the town of Carroll — and it’s time for the state Comptroller’s Office to get to the bottom of it.

At issue, specifically, are two things — the town’s swim program and a 2016 Annual Financial Report Update Document for the town that wasn’t submitted until July 1, 2019, and showed an unexplained $22,425 adjustment in the general fund balance and a restated negative fund balance of $11,719 in the highway budget.

The swim program issue has been discussed for the past two years. The program costs the town about $16,000 a year for an administrator, swim instructor and lifeguards but, due to a lack of receipts, the local auditor told the Carroll Town Board it was difficult to determine if the money collected was handed over to the town clerk to be deposited.

Past in-house reviews of the town’s finances discovered “peculiarities,” according to former supervisor Jack Jones, while current supervisor Laura Smith attributes the discrepancies to “sloppy bookkeeping” and miscommunication between the director of the program and town officials about how much money might have been collected to what was received.

In a statement read aloud during the Town Board’s July meeting, Smith said the town’s current accounting firm recently completed the 2016 Annual Update Document, and that work was underway to complete the 2017 and 2018 documents. She also quoted the accountant, who told her regarding past financial reports, “I do have concerns about how the accounting was performed. That does not mean that there is fraud. The way the QuickBooks files are incomplete and include no descriptions of transactions is concerning. AUDs were not completed and not completed timely.”

There has been an awful lot of concern over bookkeeping for a such a small town and an awful lot of time wasted trying to fix whatever the problems are. It’s time for the state Comptroller’s Office to step in and perform an audit.