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TRUSTEE WANTS STATE AUDIT OF DISTRICT SPENDING

A member of the Frontier Central School Board still wants the state comptroller's office to conduct a comprehensive audit of the district's spending, not just a review of year-end financial reports as was done.

"I still have very grave concerns regarding some of our financial practices," Michael N. Comerford said at Tuesday night's meeting after the board approved a tentative budget calling for a tax increase of nearly 7 percent.

The district finds itself in a hole because it dipped into reserves to avoid tax increases in the past.

Comerford also said the state Education Department requires that school boards receive monthly and quarterly finance reports from the business office, but the board has not been receiving them.

He and board member Janet MacGregor Plarr also raised questions last week about fees paid to an architectural firm that -- because it provides professional services -- was hired without the usual bidding process.

He was told by administrators that the board had approved the firm during its reorganizational meeting in July.

Now it turns out that information was incorrect and the company was not approved, he said Tuesday.

Giving "misinformation regarding half-million-dollar no-bid contracts" is another reason there should be an audit and the board should form a Finance Committee to oversee all finances and financial practices, Comerford said.