Monday, February 27, 2012
CROTON HARMON SCHOOL DISTRICT AUDIT RELEASED
Welcome to EverythingCroton, a collection of all things Croton--our history, our homes, our issues, our businesses, our schools--in short, EVERYTHING CROTON.
AN AUDIT OF THE Croton-Harmon Union Free School District – Budgeting Practices (2011M-269) OFFICE OF THE NEW YORK STATE COMPTROLLER has been released: February 24, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]
Key Findings - In 2008, the Office of the State Comptroller audited the District and found that the District had more than double the unassigned fund balance permitted by law. Although the report recommended keeping the unassigned fund balance within legal limits, the Board has failed to do so. Since then, the Board and District officials repeatedly overestimated expenditure items, which resulted in the continued accumulation of unassigned fund balance at year-end in excess of what is permitted by real property tax law.
ADDITIONAL COMMENT FROM REPORT: More accurate projections for the above expenditures could easily have been calculated by District offi cials and provided to the Board when developing the budget. By not using realistic estimates, the Board is creating annual operating surpluses, resulting in the accumulation of excessive fund balance. Although the District’s tax levy has remained fairly consistent, by overestimating budget expenditures the Board is placing a higher tax burden on District taxpayers than is necessary to provide educational services for District students, within the District.
Friday, February 24, 2012
ROBERT SCOTT: SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT
Or you can see it below.
February 24, 2012
Setting the Record Straight
The distortions of truth engaged in by proponents of zoning change in Croton are beyond belief and merit the attention of a truth squad. I will here attempt to perform that office.
In a letter to the editor in the February 22nd issue of The Gazette, one Virpi De Marchis, by admission not a resident of Harmon, bemoans its appearance and cites "abandoned buildings, wrecked cars, and vacant lots that not only look awful, but are lowering property values in the surrounding area.”
She continues: “Lower property values mean lower school tax revenue, which ultimately will lower the quality of our schools." This is arrant nonsense and reveals a willful distortion of the facts. I live in Harmon and know of no abandoned buildings.
As for the "wrecked cars," the Village itself is responsible for the storage in Harmon of vehicles involved in accidents. Croton could easily find a less visible site for the impoundment of such inoperable vehicles. This is an excellent example of this Village Board’s ability to speak out of both sides of its mouth. The impoundment is a violation of the Village’s own Gateway Law.
And as for empty lots, since when is undeveloped land an eyesore and government's responsibility?
Ms. De Marchis is obviously ignorant of the steps involved in determining school tax revenues. (1) The school district develops and adopts a budget reflecting future needs. (2) Revenues from sources other than the property tax (state aid, etc.) are subtracted from the budget. The remainder becomes the tax levy, which is raised through the property tax. (3) To determine the tax rate, the tax levy is divided by the total taxable assessed value of all property in the school district. Temporary up-or-down fluctuations in property valuations in a neighborhood are not reflected by changes in individual tax assessments.
Hitler knew the value of the “big lie.” Another big lie frequently used by proponents of Harmon zoning changes is the charge that in engaging in court actions, opponents of the legislation are guilty of barratry--persistently instigating groundless lawsuits designed to bleed Croton white with legal fees.
It so happens that the actions brought are specified by law as the proper avenues to challenge the Village’s frivolities. Avoidance of so many blatant errors by Croton would have made citizen action unnecessary.
Those of every political stripe who oppose the misguided zoning changes have done nothing to disgrace Croton by pointing out the many errors committed in the name of planning. Yet, by its disastrous legal maneuvering and by opposing its own citizens so patronizingly, Village Board members have managed to do everything possible to disgrace themselves.
ROBERT ARMANINI LETTER TO THE GAZETTE, HARMON REZONING, 2/23/12
The following letter appears in the 2/22/12-2/29/12 edition of THE GAZETTE from Rob Armanini, printed with permission:
To the Editor,
Thursday, February 23, 2012
THE VINTAGE KNITTER #9: AN AFGHAN IN COLORFUL EFFECTS
CALLING ALL CROTON KNITTERS: Continuing our new series here at EverythingCroton: THE VINTAGE KNITTER! We got the idea when Hallie Flanagan Wolfe of hallieflanaganwolfegardens.com, recently donated a small cache of dogeared but very interesting vintage knitting and crochet magazines (and an envelope of clippings we’ve just discovered!) from the 1940's through the 1960's. Some of these patterns are simply gorgeous and others quite strange!
In response to a request for another vintage afghan pattern, our 9th installment is a 1953 "Afghan in Colorful Effects". Click on the photo for instructions and print. Thanks again Hallie! Feel free to share!
AND DON’T FORGET: THE CROTON LIBRARY HAS A KNITTING CIRCLE ONCE A MONTH, USUALLY ON TUESDAYS; CALL THEM FOR MORE DETAILS: 271-6612
THE VINTAGE KNITTER #1, A MID-1950’S DATE SWEATER http://everythingcroton.blogspot.com/2011/10/vintage-knitter-1-mid-1950s-date.html
THE VINTAGE KNITTER #2, BABY TALK, 1944, a “1 year size” jacket and cap http://everythingcroton.blogspot.com/2011/11/vintage-knitter-2-baby-talk.html
THE VINTAGE KNITTER #3, CAREFREE & CASUAL http://everythingcroton.blogspot.com/2011/11/vintage-knitter-3-carefree-casual.html
THE VINTAGE KNITTER #4, A KNITTED AFGHAN http://everythingcroton.blogspot.com/2011/11/vintage-knitter-4-knitted-afghan.html
THE VINTAGE KNITTER #5, MID-CENTURY “BUTTON BEAUTY” BLOUSE http://everythingcroton.blogspot.com/2012/01/vintage-knitter-5-mid-century-button.html
THE VINTAGE KNITTER #6, MID-CENTURY CROCHET PATTERN FOR A “TUCKED HAT” http://everythingcroton.blogspot.com/2012/01/vintage-knitter-6-mid-century-tucked.html
THE VINTAGE KNITTER #7, ALADDIN’S LAMPSHADE http://everythingcroton.blogspot.com/2012/02/vintage-knitter-7-aladdins.html
THE VINTAGE KNITTER #8, A PETER PAN COLLAR http://everythingcroton.blogspot.com/2012/02/vintage-knitter-8-peter-pan-collar.html