- My intent is to summarize this report in a reasonably unbiased way and to then raise questions about our
Better yet by far, you should read the unedited report yourself. It is linked to this letter. Please resist the
temptation to skip to the “recommendations” as I think you will miss important facts and perspective. It is
not difficult reading to get the general picture. We voters and taxpayers really need to know what the facts are
and to not rely on edited versions, hearsay, spun versions, political bias – from either side of the aisle !
On p. 2-3 the Comptroller provides background and method of their audit.
On p. 4-9 the Comptroller gives the details of their study of our garbage bag system.
On p. 11-12 is the Town response to the Auditor, written by Supervisor Hyde and representing the Board.
As I have read the report several times. Several things stand out to me:
1. The Auditors job is to analyze the town system of garbage bag use from a financial and administrative
perspective only and to make suggestions to town officials about how to improve the system.
2. The audit is not intended to point fingers of blame in any way that suggests the intention of prosecution.
3. The Audit clearly states that there has been inadequate garbage bag oversight and accountability at every
level of our town government, from Supervisor, Board, Clerk and Landfill Attendant(s).
4. The report indicates that the Supervisor (then Ms Wood) as Chief Financial Officer for Thurman has
ultimate responsibility for the accounting of the program. As with all government and private business
this is “the buck stops here” thinking.
5. The Board is cited as not adequately planning this new program that they voted to begin in 2012 and
therefore also partly responsible for the messes the garbage bag program is in.
6. The Audit indicated that Ms. Hyde, as the Clerk, had the responsibility of running the program- to include
procedures for sale of bags, record keeping of income, security of income, depositing revenue and figuring out
discrepancies (I assume with the Supervisor as Chief Financial Officer).
7. The land fill attendant(s) were likewise cited for not using adequate procedures to account for bag sales
and money and for not turning revenue in a timely way.
8. The Auditor was not able to account for the $6100.00 in missing bags or income from bags because the
system was so flawed in its set up and because many individuals used the system of accounting for the bags
inconsistently and/or sloppily. Nor are any of the players involved with the system able to account for the
9. Finally, on p.8-9 there are 5 suggestions for improving the garbage bag program from a financial point of
view. I do not know why these suggestions are addressed specifically to the “Board” but I am assuming
that the “Board” necessarily includes the Supervisor and that the Board delegated the garbage bag program
to the Clerk to run.
The Comptrollers report requires a response from the town. On behalf of the current Board, Supervisor Hyde wrote the response seen on p. 11-12 of the report:
Paragraph one says that “ the current Town Board of the Town of Thurman agrees with the findings of the audit”...
Those findings clearly spread the responsibility for the problems with the garbage bag program on ALL
parties involved ( then Supervisor Wood, several Boards, Clerk Hyde, Landfill Attendants).
In paragraph two, Supervisor Hyde spends 100% of her response blaming everyone else for the
problems that the Auditor uncovered. Supervisor Hyde blames Supervisor Wood, the Board (which had changed
several times) with quotes from town meetings to support her case.
Finally, the Supervisor/Board are required by law to to respond within 90 days to the Comptroller with a
required Corrective Action Plan (CAP). On p. 12 the response lists 5 bullet points that indicate how Supervisor
Hyde and the Board will correct the the garbage bag program deficiencies. I do not know if these 5 points are the
entire Corrective Action Plan or if there is a more thorough Plan in the works. The Comptroller's office encourages
The Board to make the corrective plan available to the public.
Lastly, Supervisor Hyde closes with : “The Town Board of the Town of Thurman believes in teamwork. We will
have discussion at meetings and all will be involved in decision making. Accountability and transparency to the
public is paramount”.
I leave this summary and information with you, the reader, and hope is it helpful. I have tried to summarize the
“Garbage Bag Inventory and Collections” , 1/1/12 - 6/30 /16, provided by the Comptrollers Office as unbiased as I