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Letter: Lancaster School District must be more transparent

Lancaster School District must be more transparent

I understand that integrity is the backbone of strong leadership. Regrettably, New York State continues to struggle with issues of governmental ethics that can often sap our energy and progress. It is especially concerning when this occurs closest to home.

One recent case is the audit findings by the New York State Comptroller’s Office in the Town of Lancaster. In its financial review of the Lancaster School District, a number of troubling issues were brought to light. The audit revealed that the School Board and administration routinely overestimated budgetary expenditures by as much as $10 million annually in recent years. This, of course, impacts tax levies to an already beleaguered homeowner.

Further, the Comptroller’s Office determined that the district’s budgeting practices lacked transparency to town residents. Clearly, the latter relies on the former and is often the prerequisite to unethical behavior. We must hold public officials accountable at all levels in our state. The progress we have seen under Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s programs cannot be sustained in an environment that lacks integrity in government. Let’s all pull together to ensure clean government.

Dennis Kaite

Lancaster

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