Last week, the Windham Board of Finance discussed the possible violation of town ethics policies in the over- expenditure of the
The concern centers around the school employees' health care fund.
According to board of finance member
Donohue said Lockton, an independent insurance brokerage firm, provides predictions on the town and school district's health care expenditures.
According to Donohue, in 2015, Lockton estimated
In 2017, Lockton estimated
Finally, in 2018, Lockton estimated
"This is a covert diversion of public funds away from a critical area, health care, into other areas," Donohue said. "This is a major, major problem for this town."
In the next budget year, the board of education has, again, appropriated less than Lockton's estimates. However, Windham Finance Director
Ide will have to report back to the board of finance and explicitly explain how the finance issues will be investigated by
Then, the board of education will report its full findings by
The board of finance did not take any formal action last Wednesday evening, but it verbally asked Ide
TOWN, Page 4
This is a covert diversion of public funds away from a critical area, health care, into other areas. This is a major, major problem for the town.
Town seeks answers on health funds
Continued from Page 1
to report back.
After the meeting, Ide said she was glad the finance board decided not to forward the issue to the ethics commission or to a forensic auditor.
"I didn't believe it belonged to the ethics commission," Ide said. "The board of education takes this matter very seriously."
Ide said the yearly budgets were balanced by covering the extra health care expense through the reserve fund, which was then depleted.
Windham Superintendent of Schools
Donohue said the town did not have any problems and it was only the school district at fault.
Garcia said she did not believe any members of the school staff or school board acted unethically or irresponsibly.
According to Garcia, the finance director makes his own recommendations based on a number of different factors.
"We are looking at the discrepancy between the two estimates right now," Garcia said. "We have to make sure it's aligned."
Rivers also said he spoke with Windham Town Attorney
" This is a complicated issue, but I don't know if this is a question of ethics," Rivers said.
Donohue disagreed with Rivers' statements and said Rivers was just " blowing fog."
He also said Rivers was confusing "legal" and "ethical."
Town staff and board members agreed everyone involved should have been more mindful of the underappropriation.
Finance board member
"The ethics commission is primarily interested in motivation," Lary said. "Not just what happened, but why."
The board of education meets for its regularly scheduled meeting on
The board of finance meets for its next regularly scheduled meeting on
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