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Selectmen Invite Resident Information for Audit Request

Wayland's Board of Selectmen is moving forward on Article 28 from the recent Annual Town Meeting.

Wayland voters at the recent Annual Town Meeting approved an article to request an audit of Wayland's Public Schools fee-based programs since 2007.

On Monday, Wayland's Board of Selectmen discussed the next steps in carrying out that article, which will begin with submitting a letter (copied below) to the Massachusetts state auditor advising him of town meeting vote to request an audit.

According to a press release from Town Administrator Fred Turkington, selectmen agreed to "invite petitioners and other interested citizens to submit any information they deem useful to help the state auditor reach a determination on the request."

Information should be submitted by May 25, 2012, to the Office of the State Auditor, One Ashburton Place, Room 1891, Boston, MA 02108.

The text of the letter:

May 15, 2012

Office of the State Auditor
One Ashburton Place, Room 1819
Boston, MA  02108
RE:  Request to Perform Audit of Wayland Public Schools Fee-Based Programs

Dear Mr. Keefe:

On April 23, 2012, the Town of Wayland’s Annual Town Meeting passed by voice vote a motion related to Article 28 – Request Audit of School Fee-Based Programs Since FY2007, the text of which is enclosed.  The motion is substantially similar to the text of the article which appeared in the 2012 Annual Town Meeting Warrant on pages 107-109 (enclosed for your background). 

On January 17, 2012, a petitioner’s article was filed for insertion in the 2012 Annual Town Meeting Warrant by lead petitioner Shawn Kinney, a member of the Wayland School Committee, requesting Town Meeting to ratify the majority vote of the School Committee to seek an audit by your office under the provisions of MGL c. 11, sec. 12.  Mr. Kinney subsequently contacted your office by letter dated January 25, 2012 to inquire about the process and cost for conducting such an audit.  On February 15, 2012, Mr. Kinney and other petitioners submitted a revised article.  While the original article cites MGL c. 11, sec. 12, the revised article removed the reference to state law and instead requested Town Meeting to authorize and direct the Board of Selectmen to request the State Auditor to conduct the review.  Reference is made to the letter dated February 21, 2012 from your office, a copy of which was provided to all citizens as an appendix in the Warrant.  In that letter, you indicated familiarity with The Abrahams Group reports on various financial practices.  To the extent you wish to review these reports in making a final determination, links are provided:

- http://www.wayland.ma.us/Pages/WaylandMA_BComm/Finance/Abrahams1Final.pdf

- http://www.wayland.ma.us/Pages/WaylandMA_BComm/Finance/AbrahamsPartTwo.pdf

- http://www.wayland.ma.us/Pages/WaylandMA_BComm/Finance/Restatement

We understand the School Committee discussed the idea of an audit of these accounts and programs in the past several months, but at no time considered a motion to request an audit by your office and seek Town Meeting ratification of the request.  The motion put forth by Mr. Kinney and petitioners that was adopted by Town Meeting instead authorizes and directs the Board of Selectmen to make a formal request that your office conduct a five-year audit of all fee-based accounts and programs.  On behalf of Town Meeting, we hereby make such a request.

As part of the request, the Board of Selectmen respectfully asks that you withhold a decision on the request until at least May 30, 2012 to allow the petitioners of the article and other interested citizens to provide your office with any additional information that might assist with your review and determination.

In the interim, please advise if there is any further information that I can provide to assist your office in reaching a determination on this request.

Very truly yours,

ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF SELECTMEN

Frederic E. Turkington, Jr.
Town Administrator

Enclosures

c:  Barbara Fletcher, chair, School Committee
     Dr. Paul Stein, Superintendent of Schools
     Shawn Kinney, 6 Dairy Farm Lane, Wayland, MA  01778
     (lead petitioner)

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