Letter to the Editor

Valley Stream in good fiscal health


To the Editor:

An exit interview was just conducted after an audit of the Village of Valley Stream’s cash receipts and selected village operations dating from June 1, 2011, to Dec. 31, 2012, by the New York state comptroller’s office (“Village ups financial controls after audit,” April 24-20”).

The tone of the interview was very congenial, and it confirmed that our village is in excellent financial condition.

Auditors can be very sobering and minutely critical. They often nitpick at the smallest of things, such as asking, “Why don’t you staple duplicate receipts to your documents?” They usually tell you only what you are doing wrong and are devoid of compliment.

However, the state auditors who conducted this job were genuinely pleased by what they encountered over the six months that they viewed our documents and business practices. They made some non-binding suggestions on some perfunctory procedures, and, to their delight, most of these recommendations were already in the works by our supervisory staff — even before the audit report.

Over the course of the 18 months of the audit, Valley Stream had, on average, a $36 million budget. The only monies that there was a discrepancy about were some unbalanced amounts between cash register tapes and daily admission logs. This netted $262 more in cash collected than recorded by the manual admissions log. The money was not missing; it was there. This $262 represents four-tenths of one percent of the $660,047 in pool receipts collected during the summer. In a $36 million fiscal plan, this represents an infinitesimal portion of the village’s collected revenue. All in all, not bad.

Valley Stream has a healthy $6.2 million in reserves, a strong and steady AA2 bond rating, and a solid tax base with reasonable village taxes. With the implementation of new state-of-the-art computer programs, designed to eliminate mistakes and heightened accountability, our village should enjoy an even better record of fiscal excellence.

I would pit Valley Stream against any other village in New York state when it comes to our fiduciary duty to the taxpayers. Fiscally, the residents and taxpayers of Valley Stream should be very pleased about how we handle our finances..

Michael J. Fox

Village treasurer, Valley Stream