Tuesday, December 20, 2016

'Old Guard' BoE Budget Surplus Mysteries



A familiar attack on Reform management of Hoboken District schools is the current $5M budget surplus.

The criticism, driven by a Texan crapademic and his anonymous online identities, is that this surplus can be zeroed out for a certain charter school expansion.

Moreover, critics pretend the surplus is a Reform anomaly; 'found money' to be tapped like a beer keg.

Folks, you can put that one in the "fake news" trash heap.  

A peek at 'Old Guard' BoE budget surplus(es) from 2006-2009 (before Reform took control) back when HoLa Trustee Frank Raia, Carmelo Garcia and Anthony Romano were the voting majority, and HoLa's Anthony Petrosino was employed full-time as Assistant Superintendent  (and taught a class in Austin, Texas!) raises questions.

Take a look:



Why did they maintain such low Capital Reserves- $1,000?
"Capital reserve account" means the account established by a district board of education pursuantto N.J.S.A. 18A:7G-31 and 18A:7F-41 into which monies are deposited to help finance a school district’s local share of its long-range facilities plan
Why did they maintain "0" balance in the Maintenance Reserve?
"6A:23A-14.2 Maintenance reserve(a) A district board of education shall establish, by resolution, a maintenance reserve account to be used to implement required maintenance of the school district’s facilities. Thedistrict board of education is prohibited from using such funds for routine or capital maintenance."
Why did they keep an astronomical balance in the Legal Reserve?????
"Each district board of education shall, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:4-14, maintain legalreserves as defined at N.J.A.C. 6A:23A-1.2 and published by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board..." 

At the same time frame that the Hoboken district's  2006-2009 Legal Reserves held enormous balances, district financial audit reports cited numerous "deficiencies, material weaknesses, and instances on non-compliance, including questioned costs..."   Here are a few:





So, why did the Raia-Garcia-Petrosino coalition STARVE the capital reserve and maintenance reserve and STUFF the legal reserve?

The calculation of these surpluses is complicated and interdependent on many factors, complex and amounts change from year to year, and there are rules for transferring money in and out of  reserves- GA is no expert.  But, it is reasonable to ask t he intent and purpose of keeping ZERO reserves for maintenance, almost non for capital projects, and a boated legal reserve.

For the record, here are the surplus amounts from the Hoboken District's 2016-2017 User Friendly budget.  As you can see, the allocation of reserve funds to capital projects and maintenance of aging infrastructure, is responsible.


46 comments:

  1. Well if I HAD to guess... this explains why the dark side fights so damn hard to get back the boe.

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  2. So what did lardass Petrosino do with all that money in the legal slush fund? How come the lardass didn't have any money in the funds for repairs? Court cases are not emergencies. Repairs are. What's the story lardass?

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  3. Maybe Ant'ny could get more traction with his blog if he renamed it "bitter thoughts of a fired lardass." Could garner some sympathy clicks.

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    1. What about "A Broad View from a Wide Load."

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  4. Minitillo and company were on the Board at the time-- no protest from them at the time.

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    1. She probably didn't have a suspicious enough nature to realize you were using the money to make your ass wider.

      Hey why is it other people's responsibility to catch you getting over like a fat rat instead of your responsibility to stop being a fat rat?

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    2. Minutillo had no "company" in 2006-2007, it was 8 against 1.

      Carrie Gilliard and Rose Markle came on in 2007-2008, it was 6 against 3, until Kids First swept and took the majority in 2009-2010. Don't you remember, professor?

      Until KF cleaned house, got the rats out, there were questionable financial practices by the Old Guard Board majority-but I don't have to tell you, professor.

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    3. I dont think petro was around in 2006-07--but no reason not to blame him

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    4. 2:40-- Petro was around in 2007-2008 (no contract, $144.5k) and 2008-2009 (taught a class in Austin Texas + worked"fulltime" in Hoboken for $144.5K). The budget shows his contract was for 240 work days-- one assumes work days IN Hoboken. He was "around" in 2007-2009.

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  5. Context: you cant claim bankrupcy and have a $5.4 million surplus.

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    1. Context: covering your fat ass again. The essential mission of the BOE is the well-being of the schools.

      Part of that well-being is to maintaining a suitable budget surplus in the Sandy-ravaged city - unlike what Team Lardass did when you were there pissing away all the taxpayer money on steak dinners, cellphones and trips to Atlantic City.

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    2. Response to FAKE context: No one has claimed bankruptcy, professor. Now, SHOO.

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    3. you forgot ipods and a ton of low and no-show jobs. like we needed a guy to hit print on the copier machine (such a complicated job) and another guy to replace window AC units as full time employees. what a waste.

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    4. You cannot budget appropriations to fund a surplus

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    5. That is a great point. I suppose people who waste money like frigging crazy never have any leftover money in their budget to leave in surplus (BTW - your excuse is nonsense - most well run organizations maintain a surplus)

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    6. BTW - nobody is accusing the OG if running any organization in town all that well. We all know you tools were incompetent as hell.

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  6. Ahh the good old days of the "money for nothing, chicks for free" H.B.O.E. when Anthony Russo was mayor before he went to prison.

    Sadly many of forget, deny or don't know how bad Hoboken pervasive "crook" problems. were.


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  7. Here's a possible reason for the legal surplus that I've heard before: a friend of the School Board is leaving their BoE job (retiring, got a better job, etc.) and is encouraged to sue the BoE on the way out. They're guaranteed to win, get a portion of the winnings, as do the friendly lawyers on both sides, and others who are in on the scam. Easy way to apportion a surplus! Just a theory. It would be intersting to know if there were a bunch of losing lawsuits from the same time period.

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  8. Keeping in mind he did not come to the district until Fall 2007 i believe, according to your posted chart, Petro brought the legal reserve down from an inherited $2.6 million to $0 in less than two audit cycles- that seems fairly proactive, responsive, and responsible---or am I missing something?

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    1. Yes, doc. You are missing the part of your character that tells the truth.

      Chart of ACTUAL balances, not ESTIMATED balances is one click away. Actual legal reserve balance on 6/30/2008 was $1.3 million and on 6/30/2009 it was $0.995 million. But you knew that.

      Instead of lame excuses, how about explaining that one? Where did that money go? Hmmmmmm?

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    2. Wow! At least $400,000 disappeared from the legal reserves on Anthony Petrosino's watch! GA you should go back to the legal reserve balance on June 30 2007 since the professor arrived only 3 months later in September.

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    3. Just going by the numbers you posted GA-- even using your ACTUAL numbers- he dropped the legal reserve 60% in less than 2 cycles-and using your posted ESTIMATED numbers, he zeroed it out- Not that bad if you ask me.

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    4. "HE" zeroed out an ESTIMATE! Pretty slick. 60% of $2.4 million spent on WHAT? Hmmmmm?

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    5. Spent down the reserve, allocated less in subsequent fiscal cycles - this isnt rocket science

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    6. Would you say you "spent down" the reserve mostly on cheetos or hostess hohos, lardass.

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    7. "Spending down" $1.5 Million in 3 years is not rocket science, neither is allocating an astronomical $2.56 Million for the "legal reserve." Ka-ching! I'll bet that money would have bought a lot of textbooks and classroom supplies.

      Not rocket science at all!

      So, how about telling us how $1.5 million was "spent down"- $400k of it on YOUR watch. What did you snd your pals spend it on? Why did your pals allocate $2.4M for legal reserves in the first place and NONE for maintenance?

      Got answers, doc? Like you say, it's not rocket science.

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    8. What is annual expenditure for legal services? I recall, in house legal was instituted around '07 which may account for savings-- i agree with 11:07, not difficult to understand-

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    9. Remember 12:23 to include premium payments for legal insurance when calculating yearly expenditures for legal services- GA, you got those numbers? Where do we click?

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    10. 12:23- are you confessing to padding legal reserves over $2.5 million to pay legal consultants??? That is an embarrassing admission. So, you needed plenty of loot in order to share with FRIENDS?? For example, former BoE legal consultant Leo Vartan.

      Star Ledger, May 26 2006:

      Authorities said Russo was responsible for getting Vartan a legal consulting job with the Hoboken Board of Education that paid him $18,000 in 1998 while Russo was given $1,500 in payoffs in return. When Vartan came clean about the arrangement, he "was able to provide documentation that corroborated his story," Solano said after the hearing.

      http://forums.kearnyontheweb.com/index.php?/topic/2158-mayor-fined-gets-probation/

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    11. Wow, the OG stuffed the legal reserves like a Thanksgiving turkey. I'll bet the "stuffing" made them and their friends very thankful. Did doc get a helping?

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    12. 1:41 you are the best!

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    13. Did doc get a helping? Take a gander at that 3 first class seat wide caboose on tubby.

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    14. is the dippity doo doo who said "they spent down the reserve and allocated less in subsequent budget cycles" the same person who further up said "You cannot budget appropriations to fund a surplus"? b/c that person seems to be admitting that when the OG ran things, they budgeted approps to fund the legal reserve account to build up a very hefty surplus.

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    15. 4:02- its oretty clear they meant allocated less for legal expenses in subsequeny budget cycles"-- thats how he got it down 60% in less than 2yrs. GA, what are the yearly legal costs? Where do we click?

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    16. legal expenses are completely unpredictable going out multiple years and if they were predictable, you wouldn't set aside a reserve for funding expenses going forward, you'd appropriate it annually. So basically, they funded a surplus for legal reserves not know how much they would spend going forward. That completely contradicts the dippity doo doo who said you can't budget approps to fund a surplus.

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    17. 4:40 its nonsense to say legal expenses are "completely unpredictable"-- you simply average 10 year trends with cost of living and inflation adjystments and you are at a 95% confidence interval for projected costs.

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    18. If they are frigging predictable, you appropriate them annually and don't need a frigging reserve b/c of their unpredictability. How complicated is that? Stop trying to cover your hypocrisy in earlier comments.

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    19. Well, 4:02, by all means if you believe that is an audit line item, you may check on the HBOE website archives yourself. Since the OG-controlled BoE were cited for not following check writing protocol, and checks could be written without oversight, do you think the enormous legal reserve balance was tapped only for legal expenses? Is it normal to spend $1.5 million on legal costs for 3 years? Maybe the professor knows the answer.

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  9. As GA has shown, QSAC scores have improved. The test scores went down once Reform was in charge because they become honest. Prior to that the lower performing juniors were hidden and not given the tests. Without the lowest third of the scores, the class averages looked much better than they should have. You can thank Theresa Minutillo and some of her reform friends for putting a stop to that disgusting practice. I don't think you are right about the graduation rate--what's your source?

    I don't know anything about an 'erasure scandal,' but ITA about the assault on the girl at HJSHS. that was terrible. It should never have happened. The Hoboken schools aren't where they should be, but they are better than they were under the OG. There are many things that need to improve, but the first and most vital thing that is necessary for all the other changes has already happened, and that's putting people of conscience who care about Hoboken students on the BOE, not people who care only about their own petty selfish interests.

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    1. All of that above was in reply to a comment, but it seems to have gone (just as well, really). So, umm...nevermind.

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  10. i'm a regulare reader of your blog and a big fan of yours but the fact remains the 2009 campaign literature complained about the children's test scires (attack #1), that teachers didnt pay for their health insurance (attack #2), or the per pupil costs (attack #3). The longer day cost a lot of $$$ and has not halted plummeting test scores (351 out of 377). 6 superintendents in 7 yrs, multiple district configurations, Connors and Calabro erasure scandals, girls being assaulted in elevators, below average HS graduation rates, failing QSAC score in Instruction and Program 5 years running....you ought to either stop allowing comments or start facing the truth. Speaking of Christmas, remember when your buddies didnt allow Santa Claus in Calabro?

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    1. Folks, the above spamming douchebag a.k.a. the Texas Truth-Twister and/or an acolyte, has copy-pasted the above trash 8 times on Christmas Eve, and a couple of times today on Christmas. Yes folks, its true. I delete the trash, he re-posts. On Christmas Eve and Christmas. This is the trash the hateful "Dr." Anthony Petrosino posted under the pseudonym "CuriousGal" on Patch. Hundreds of posts, just like this.

      Folks, this is one crazy douchbag!

      Happy holiday!

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    2. newstips@statesman.com

      austin newspaper

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    3. The above spamming fool was probably told he wasn't welcome at the family holiday dinner b/c he/she/it is a douche - hence his support for all things bad.

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