Share this article

print logo

Audit prompts changes by board

The North Tonawanda School Board Tuesday night approved a plan to correct shortcomings noted in the 2004-05 audit.

The district and the city agreed on changes in tax collection procedures to stem a loss of interest on funds.

The audit noted taxes, which are collected for the district by the city, are not being collected in a timely manner, resulting in the loss of an undisclosed amount in interest revenue, officials said.

Residents asked how much the district has been losing in interest.

Board President Scott Schultz estimated the loss at "upwards of tens of thousands of dollars."

City Treasurer Leslie J. Stolzenfels, meanwhile, said she always collects taxes on time.

"I go to the bank every single day and make deposits without fail," she said. "I guess I'm allowed five days [and] I have all the bank receipts to show that I do. I turn them over to the Board of Education."

Stolzenfels said the city's contract with the district dates to 1986, but Assistant Superintendent Susan L. Villiers said the district was not able to find a contract.

"We need to update this contract," Stolzenfels said. "We have nothing really to go by. We should have a set of rules."

Stolzenfels and district officials had planned to meet Monday to discuss the issue, but that meeting was canceled because of a family emergency.

Stolzenfels also was angry that the interest issue wasn't brought to her attention sooner.

"It's a lack of communication. Instead of somebody calling me and saying, 'What are we going to do?' I'm reading it in the newspaper," she said. "For 23 years nobody said anything and all of a sudden something is coming up. . . . I hope we can clear it all up and move forward."

In other matters:

* The board rejected a proposal to start converting the district's half-day kindergarten program to a full day.

Trustees Joe Stringaro and Dennis Pasiak voted against it, while Robert Arbeiter, David Guido and Deborah Wasieczko voted for it. David Rechin was not present for the meeting.

"I'm not firmly convinced that all-day kindergarten would really help a student," Pasiak said. "From a family standpoint, I would like to see a kid be a kid. I would like to see a child stay at home and bond with their mother or father. A half day is fine enough."

Stringaro said he was concerned about the funding impact.

"We've got to start prioritizing," he said.

Villiers said the district would qualify for state funding for full-day kindergarten.

* The board will meet next week for a budget workshop and conduct a special meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the administration building, 175 Humphrey St.

There are no comments - be the first to comment