"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
Alexander Hamilton

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Carroll County Farm Audited Revenues and Expenses. The Real Story.

Rep. McConkey(r) and Rep. Cordelli(r) of the Carroll County Delegation, last March presented some numbers on revenues and expenditures for the County Farm that have proven to be grossly inaccurate. The budget for the farm was slashed by the delegation last March, in essence causing it to cease operations late this year.

McConkey at the March 21st 2015 delegation meeting,  said that " If we completely fund the farm/dpw at the rate in commissioner’s budget, it fully funds all the activities demonstrated to have lost over 40% and have cost the taxpayers over 5 years $500,000 or more. If we do nothing and keep it the same we go nowhere."
At the April 28th 2016 BoS meeting, Rep. Cordelli also provided some inaccurate data: "Mr. Cordelli provided the Board with the farm’s numbers for expenditures/revenue and subsequent loss from 2010 to 2015, a total of $447,880."..... Paul (Punturieri) felt that the full audit should be done first before going ahead. He questioned cutting the farm’s budget and changing a historical program. 

Here are the actual audited revenue and expenditures for the last five fiscal years:

$171,000 is far less than the half million claimed , but it also tells a bit of a different story. The farm actually turned a profit in 2013, but revenue then dropped off a cliff in 2014 and 2015. I would have asked the obvious question as to why? What happened the past two years?
I stand by my comments on April 28th that the decision to defund the farm was wrong and a more detailed analysis should have been undertaken. The audits were available through at least 2014 at the time the budget was finalized and yet neither McConkey nor Cordelli reviewed the audited figures for accuracy, but continued to support their position despite gross inaccuracies.
As a member of the delegation, I will work collaboratively with the county and commissioners , and make decisions based upon fact and what is in the best interest of Carroll County taxpayers.


Anonymous said...

The farm turned a profit in only one of the five years shown.

Moultonboro Blogger said...

Ok. Do you have a point?

Anonymous said...

Your comment is the point: "I would have asked the obvious question as to why? What happened the past two years?" The real question is: Is the farm profitable? Even five years is a small "window" to be determinant for profitability.

Moultonboro Blogger said...

No, my point is that the public and other delegation members were presented with wrong information and could not make an informed decision. This despite the actual numbers being available in the completed audits. We need cooperation in Ossipee, not divisiveness.

State Rep Glenn Cordelli said...

Wrong information? The Delegation has been getting wrong information from the Commissioners for years!
Information? What about when Commissioner Sorenson came to before the BOS and the people of Moultonborough and siad they had used the excess nursing home bind money to "keep the County running". That would be a violation of state law. Now his story is that he would like to know where the money went.

The Delegation had requested farm plans and information for years but little results. The County farm was a loser for taxpayers. Goc back to then citizen Babson comments on 12/23/2009 complaining about the farm loses.
Artificial revenue numbers. "Sale" of produce to the nursing home they did not want and could not use and ending up on a freezer - but still counted as "revenue" for the farm.
There comes a time for action.
The Delegation action to cut the farm budget has forced an examination of the use - and potential use - of the County property to benefit the citizens. We are looking at an agricultural learning center. Consultants have indicated endless possibilities for leasing for agricultural purposes - that can benefit the taxpayers and the agricultural heritage of the county.

Moultonboro Blogger said...

In the words of Ronald Reagan, "there you go again." The post was about the inaccurate information that you and McConkey presented to the public, not perpetuating a vendetta with the commissioners. What you call requests were actually downright hostility and still after these years, no attempt has been made to develop a working relationship with the county to benefit our taxpayers. The “delegation did this” or “the commissioner’s did that” is getting very old. We need a NH House and Delegation that is willing to solve problems and work collaboratively and not put politics ahead of the people. Many people are unhappy about the farm debacle and how it was mishandled. It took me all of 20 minutes to gather real facts from the audits.

Anonymous said...

Being a glass is half full kind of person, I'm wondering what happened in 2013, and how can that be repeated and improved upon? And as far as produce for the nursing home, does the farm ask the dietitians what produce they would like to have from the farm each year? It would be a reasonable approach to planning.

State Rep Glenn Cordelli said...

Inaccurate information? That has been what is provided by the Commissioners for years! And Moultonborough taxpayers are paying for it.
Do you know that the state Department of Revenue Administration had to come in last year to set the tax rates? And they could not even use the financial information provided by the County.

And Anonymous - reasonable approach yes but that has not happened and why much food got shoved into a freezer. Have to boost those revenue numbers after all.

Fred Van Magness said...

I had hoped to just skip over this mess and not comment. But the dialog got the best of me. Who is correct????....I am not sure anyone has the real story. I went back and looked at data that the County had been providing for budget purposes....their numbers. It is interesting that Actuals never are Actuals depending on who's eyes are looking at the data. Specifically, in 2014 Budget worksheets, the ACTUAL Revenue for 2012 is shown as $137.6K vs the alleged audited numbers above of $157.7K....a difference of $20K. Actual expenses per the Commissioners in the same budget package were $$168.7K vs the $179.0K above.....a difference of $10.3K. Taken together, in one case....the budget, there was purported to be a $31.2K loss if you believe the Commissioners numbers vs. a $21.4 loss from new audited data. Looking at 2013 data from the Commissioners budget data, revenues were shown as $162.3K vs. $182.2K in audited numbers. In expenses for the same year, the Commissioners and audited numbers are essentially the same. However, in one case....audited numbers, there is shown a favorable income of almost $14K while the Commissioners numbers show a loss of almost $6K. This represents a large swing. Now the surprise data.....in 2014 the actuals advertised by the Commissioners were revenue of $143.2K vs. audited numbers of $55.3K. And expenses were advertised at $116.7K vs. audited of $124.5K. Looking at 2015, the Commissioner's budget data shows ACTUAL revenue through 10/15 (partial year) of $105.3K but the audited data for the full year shows actual revenue of only $86.7K as shown above. Wonder where that extra revenue money went...!! Bottom line.....in my opinion, NOBODY has a clue as to what the real numbers are until fully audited results are available. At any point in time a person could have used the Commissioner's numbers and found that subsequent audits clarified what was allegedly actual to "true" audited actual numbers. Bottom line is that the farm is not a money maker and rarely breaks even or generates positive revenue....we should all be able to agree on that. Arguing about the magnitude of loss is not productive. In light of the above, it would be prudent to solving the issue rather than arguing about the numbers. Politics needs to be about soling problems and issues rather than all this in fighting. I see a real lack of leadership everywhere in terms of Carroll County, whether it is the Commission, the Delegation, the constituent towns, etc. etc. ENUF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Moultonboro Blogger said...

Agree Fred. Solving problems is the key. The point is not whether to keep the farm open at all cost. The point is to base decisions on as much factual information as possible. The decision to defund the farm should not have occurred without proper due diligence and proper investigation. McConkey and Cordelli both waved their numbers around and got the votes to defund without a plan for the future. That is not how good government should work.