1. Same story, different day...........year ie more of the same fiat floods the world
    Dismiss Notice
  2. There are no markets
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Week of 6/24/2017 Closing prices & Chg Over Last Wk---- Gold $1256.40 Silver $16.64 Oil $43.01 USD $96.94
  4. "Spreading the ideas of freedom loving people on matters regarding high finance, politics, constructionist Constitution, and mental masturbation of all types"
    Dismiss Notice

2 sets of books

Discussion in 'Topical Discussions (In Depth)' started by Scorpio, Apr 9, 2016.



  1. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    132,007
    Likes Received:
    38,240
    Trophy Points:
    113
  2. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    132,007
    Likes Received:
    38,240
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Uglytruth likes this.
  3. BarnacleBob

    BarnacleBob GIM Founding Member & Mod. Founding Member Site Mgr Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2012
    Messages:
    8,654
    Likes Received:
    9,821
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Ten-Oh-Cee
    Excellent article, the pension scams are just scrapping the surface on the "two sets of books" scheme... Its no wonder TPTB are militarizing the civilian police power, when this blows up, and it will, theres gonna be some very enraged pensioners & their families, .gov servants of every kind, teachers, policeman, etc.... the real questions is "where did all the money dissappear to?" I suspect most of it can be attributed to the entrenched bureaucrats, namely the "administrative .gov elite" attempting to grow their departments for pay raises, power & prestige while they are underfunded... so they "cook the books" presenting a false financial picture.... I dont think its a conspiracy per say, just hu-man nature thats been institutionalized by defacto means...

    From the Article....

    "It turns out that Calpers, which managed the little pension plan, keeps two sets of books: the officially stated numbers, and another set that reflects the “market value” of the pensions that people have earned. The second number is not publicly disclosed. And it typically paints a much more troubling picture, according to people who follow the money."
     
    Aurumag and searcher like this.
  4. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    132,007
    Likes Received:
    38,240
    Trophy Points:
    113
  5. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    132,007
    Likes Received:
    38,240
    Trophy Points:
    113
  6. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    132,007
    Likes Received:
    38,240
    Trophy Points:
    113
    gringott and BarnacleBob like this.
  7. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    132,007
    Likes Received:
    38,240
    Trophy Points:
    113
  8. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    132,007
    Likes Received:
    38,240
    Trophy Points:
    113
  9. Zed

    Zed Size doesn't count! Midas Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2010
    Messages:
    11,358
    Likes Received:
    9,339
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Nuclear Technician
    Location:
    Springfield
    Yeah, they are hopeless spenders... NO WAY on god's green earth that they keep a surplus, not unless it is their money.
     
  10. Aurumag

    Aurumag Dimly lit. Highly reflective Midas Member Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    7,205
    Likes Received:
    7,075
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Lightwave Jockey
    Location:
    State of Jefferson
    CALPERS - too BIG to be honest
     
    oldgaranddad likes this.
  11. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    132,007
    Likes Received:
    38,240
    Trophy Points:
    113
  12. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    132,007
    Likes Received:
    38,240
    Trophy Points:
    113
  13. Montecristo

    Montecristo Silver Member Silver Miner

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    764
    Likes Received:
    653
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    I don't know. There are so many people involved in a city government. People getting elected then being replaced at the next election. Mayors, treasurers property tax board......just so many people involved and coming and going I find it hard to believe they can all keep quite about two sets of books.

    I chalk it up to bureaucratic waste and the prevailing thought by the elected leaders "Hey, it's not my money, let's spend it!"
     
  14. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    132,007
    Likes Received:
    38,240
    Trophy Points:
    113
  15. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    132,007
    Likes Received:
    38,240
    Trophy Points:
    113
  16. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    132,007
    Likes Received:
    38,240
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Here's an interesting take on things. Seems this school district not only thinks it's ok to take your tax dollars and do with them as they please but they also think it's none of your dam business what they do with your money.

    Media attorney: Council Rock within its legal rights to keep appraisals from public



    Council Rock School District administrators and school board members, on the advice of their solicitor, will not share with the public the real estate appraisals completed on six district-owned properties.

    And that's legally OK, said Melissa Melewsky, media law counsel for the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association.

    Melewsky said section 708(b)(22) of the state's Right to Know Law allows agencies to deny public access to real estate appraisals up until a decision to sell or lease them has been made. The Council Rock school board is weeks and perhaps months away from making such decisions on any of the properties.

    "They don't have to (deny access to public), but they can," Melewsky said on Tuesday.

    At Monday night's Council Rock master capital planning committee meeting, Director of Business Administration Robert Reinhart shared small parts of the appraisals, but said the full reports are being withheld from the public. Reinhart said the decision is in the best interest of school district residents because revealing too much about the appraisals could jeopardize Council Rock's negotiating position and might reduce the amount of money it would get from selling any of the properties.

    "It gives us the best opportunity to get the most for the public," added school board member and master capital planning committee Chairman Andy Block.

    But board member Mark Byelich disagreed.

    "We spent public dollars on these appraisals and they should be shared with the public," he said. "I think keeping them secret is highly inappropriate."

    Board member Kyle McKessy said she respected the decision but was also somewhat troubled by keeping the appraisals from the public.

    "I'm torn," she said. "I know it's probably the right move, but it feels very muddy to me."

    Council Rock paid Indian Valley Appraisal Company $20,600 to appraise the six parcels. The properties are the undeveloped 72-acre Howes tract and Wrightstown Elementary School in Wrightstown, the Chancellor Center administrative headquarters in Newtown Borough, and Richboro Middle School, Rolling Hills Elementary School and the Twining Ford Road maintenance facility in Northampton.

    The school board will close Richboro Middle School after next school year and eventually must decide whether to sell the property or convert it to another use. The board is scheduled to make a decision on whether to close either Wrightstown or Rolling Hills Elementary fairly soon, possibly by the last day of school on June 13.

    Because it' also possible the board could eventually sell the other three properties, it wanted appraisals done on all six to aid them in making decisions.

    Reinhart said he and other school district officials went against the advice of Cox by presenting even the limited information from the appraisals that was shown to the public at Monday night's meeting.

    The business administrator's presentation showed low and high values for each property as contained in the appraisals, which represented roughly the best and worst price the district could get for them.

    Many factors come into play, said Reinhart, including zoning and historic restrictions and the willingness of municipal officials to grant relief from any restrictions if the school district decides to put any of the properties on the market.

    As one example from the appraisals, Reinhart said the low price of $2.09 million for Richboro Middle School represented the estimate the school district would get if it first paid to demolish the building and sold the vacant land. The $3.55 million high figure was the appraiser's estimate on the best price Council Rock would get if it sold the property as is.

    Enjoying our content? Become a Bucks County Courier Times subscriber to support stories like these. Get full access to our signature journalism for just 44 cents a day.

    Chris English: 215-949-4193; email: cenglish@calkins.com; Twitter: @courier

    http://www.buckscountycouriertimes....-8d2f-9f52ac028b94.html?hp=mid-moretopstories
     
  17. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    132,007
    Likes Received:
    38,240
    Trophy Points:
    113
  18. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    132,007
    Likes Received:
    38,240
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Hoarding money, yet raising taxes
    • 8 hrs ago


    School boards across the county and state are performing their annual magic act. You know the routine: Early budget talks result in dire predictions of a massive tax hike. Several meetings later officials announce — magically, it seems — a much smaller increase than anticipated (or perhaps no increase at all) thanks to careful budget cuts produced by diligent administrators working hand in hand with dedicated board members.

    Whew! Thankful taxpayers breathe a sigh of relief, happy that their elected board members found ways to make that big tax hike disappear without deeply hurting their treasured schools. Lower the curtain.

    As much as we'd like to join in the applause, we can't help but focus on what doesn't disappear; in fact, they get bigger. We refer to those whopping budget surpluses pretty much every school district in the state keeps on hand. School officials prefer calling their surpluses a "fund balance" because it doesn't connote unneeded money like the word "surplus" does. Either way, school districts keep a lot of surplus money around.

    According to the Commonwealth Foundation, a government watchdog organization, school districts across the state had accumulated $4.4 billion in surplus tax money for the last fiscal school year. That was up $126 million over the previous year.

    Local districts with the biggest bank accounts include Central Bucks, which ballooned its $23.2 million surplus to $30.5 million; Pennsbury, which went from $14.2 million to $17.1 million; and Bristol Township, whose surplus grew to $8.1 million, way up from the previous year's $4.5 million. At $37.8 million, Neshaminy's "fund balance" actually shrunk from the previous year's $41.3 million surplus. But it still ranks among the state's top 10 hoarders.

    "We constantly hear the drumbeat demanding more school funding, yet while total school spending reached $28 billion in 2015-16, up $1 billion from the previous year, schools are holding $4.4 billion, or almost 16 percent of total spending, in reserve," commented James Paul, senior policy analyst with the Commonwealth Foundation. "When school districts request carte blanche permission to hike taxes on residents while storing millions of dollars in the vault, Pennsylvanians have a right to question how districts are managing taxpayers' money."

    State Auditor General Gene DePasquale agrees. "It's a mindset that says they have to hoard money," he said, adding, "You start to question it." Or should.

    That's our recommendation. Attend your next school board meeting and ask the folks you elected to manage your tax money wisely why they're raising your taxes even a little bit when they have a giant pile of money creating a sinkhole in the vault.

    And don't buy the usual rhetoric about needing the cash to offset state budget delays, leaky roofs, rising pension costs and to keep money lenders happy. Those are legitimate reasons to keep some extra cash around, but the bulging sacks of tax loot districts have in hand far exceed what they actually need. If they say it's not true, tell ’em to prove it.

    Enjoying our content? Become a Bucks County Courier Times subscriber to support stories like these. Get full access to our signature journalism for just 44 cents a day.

    http://www.buckscountycouriertimes....cle_70382b68-f50e-5a67-9f97-70ee15e3fc1d.html
     
  19. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    132,007
    Likes Received:
    38,240
    Trophy Points:
    113
  20. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    132,007
    Likes Received:
    38,240
    Trophy Points:
    113
    The secret to better deals
    • Jul 11, 2017 Updated 7 hrs ago

    If Pennsbury taxpayers were surprised to learn that school district support staff will contribute less for health benefits in the last year of their new contract than in the first four, it's probably because school district labor contracts are worked out in secret.

    This might be an issue for taxpayers because most of them work in the private sector and contribute around 35 percent of the cost of their health benefits. Meanwhile, their elected school board just sealed a deal that will lower contributions from unionized district support staff, in some cases to 12 percent depending on the plan they pick. This means taxpayers will pay more.

    Taxpayers learn of secret details such as this only after union members approve a deal and school board members, behind closed doors, arrive at some sort of consensus that doesn't require an official vote.

    Only after that will an agreement be posted on the district website. Or maybe not. Sometimes just a summary is posted.

    Maybe taxpayers will get a week or a few days to review the deal. Or maybe not. Sometimes, they don't get more than a day or so to look over a complicated agreement — that they have to pay for — before the school board holds a public meeting to consider what voters think. Or maybe not. Sometimes taxpayers aren't given much time to express their views. If they're allowed to speak or ask questions, board members mostly sit mute. Then they hold a vote to rubber-stamp a decision essentially made behind closed doors.

    And they call this democracy?!

    We don't. We call it a sham and also a shameful way for public officials to conduct the public's business.

    But that could change. As we noted in this space last week, state Sens. Scott Martin, R-13, and Ryan Aument, R-36, both of Lancaster County, have authored legislation that would allow public access to contract negotiations with public unions. It also would make documents related to negotiations available through a right-to-know request.


    We called the proposal the "Best idea ... ever!" We're even more convinced of that in the wake of our follow-up story in which every union official we spoke to hammered the legislation, saying it is unworkable and would complicate and slow negotiations.

    Our view and that of taxpayers we talked to is that public negotiations will force both sides to open discussions at a reasonable starting point, with no extreme demands that would paint one side or the other as irresponsible or adversarial. That should shorten the process.

    In fact, one of the school board presidents we interviewed, Quakertown's Paul Stepanoff, embraced the idea. "When both sides know the public is watching," he said, "both sides behave and you end up with easier contract negotiations...."

    And no expensive surprises such as those employee benefits contributions in Pennsbury that will boomerang while taxpayers' own health care contributions will undoubtedly continue to rise. It's a bad idea that might have evaporated had it been exposed to a little sunshine.

    Enjoying our content? Become a Bucks County Courier Times subscriber to support stories like these. Get full access to our signature journalism for just 44 cents a day.

    http://www.buckscountycouriertimes....cle_0a04596c-5db9-51c5-8161-04c24ede395f.html
     
    gringott likes this.
  21. BarnacleBob

    BarnacleBob GIM Founding Member & Mod. Founding Member Site Mgr Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2012
    Messages:
    8,654
    Likes Received:
    9,821
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Ten-Oh-Cee
    The CAFR Swindle - The Biggest Game In Town:

     
    gringott likes this.
  22. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    132,007
    Likes Received:
    38,240
    Trophy Points:
    113
    gringott likes this.
  23. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    132,007
    Likes Received:
    38,240
    Trophy Points:
    113
    A bit dated and not the best quality but it's worth 3 minutes...........

    Two Sets of Books
    sheehancan



    Published on Oct 7, 2007
    Sorry for the bad quality of the video - I didn't record the CNN part, as you can tell. The Clinton and Bush administrations have been using two different sets of accounting books. Illegal as sin.
     
  24. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    132,007
    Likes Received:
    38,240
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Lawsuit seeks removal of Lower Merion school board
    Updated: October 24, 2017 — 12:10 PM EDT

    by Kathy Boccella, Staff Writer @Kathy_Boccella | Mail icon kboccella@phillynews.com


    A lawyer who successfully sued the Lower Merion School District for exaggerating multimillion-dollar budget deficits to justify large tax increases now wants the court system to remove the entire school board and force the return of $300,000 it paid to lawyers.

    Arthur Wolk of Gladwyne filed the lawsuit Friday in Montgomery County Court on behalf of 18 residents calling for the removal of the nine board members and the appointment of substitutes, which is permitted under the Pennsylvania School Code. Wolk maintains the board has not followed the orders of Judge Joseph Smyth, who in August 2016 ruled that the district withdraw a 4.4 percent tax increase for the 2016-17 school year.

    The district fought that ruling, but its appeal was dismissed; the district is now seeking a hearing before the state Supreme Court. In the meantime, the 4.4 percent tax increase remains in effect.

    “It was clear to us that the school board was not changing its practices in spite of the other lawsuit,” Wolk said in an interview. “They continue to violate the law, and they continue to be arrogant about it.”

    In a brief statement, the school district said its lawyers had not yet had a chance to discuss the most recent suit with the school board.

    “The petition contains no new allegations that have not been already made in Mr. Wolk’s prior court filings and other public statements from the last year,” the statement said. “The facts alleged do not in any way support the removal of a democratically elected school board.”

    The 8,600-student Lower Merion School District has come under intense scrutiny for its budgeting practices, which have seen taxes raised nearly 60 percent in the last 13 years. It is among the richest public school systems in the state and its teachers are the highest paid, according to the Department of Education.

    On the original lawsuit, Smyth said the district could increase its taxes by 2.4 percent for 2016-17, the maximum amount allowed under state law, but he noted that even that amount was likely more than was required to balance the budget for 2016-17.

    When asking state officials to approve the tax hikes, the school district said it needed money for special education and employee pension costs, but Smyth found that the district had a surplus of money each year for special education, as well as $15.3 million in a retirement fund that apparently wasn’t used to pay pensions. The district also had $50 million to $60 million stored in reserve since 2006, according to testimony from its business manager.

    In addition to mismanaging taxes, Wolk’s new suit alleges the school board misrepresented the amount it paid a law firm, Wisler Pearlstine, to defend the district against Wolk’s original lawsuit. The suit also asks that the school board return $300,000 paid to the law firm Drinker Biddle & Reath to represent board members, who were not named in the original suit.

    “They charge $300,000 … to the [school board] to represent them and they aren’t even sued and the [board] authorized the district to pay the bill,” Wolk said. “These guys are out of control.”

    Under the Pennsylvania School Code, the County Court can remove school board members if they fail to organize — electing a president and vice president in December and a treasurer and secretary in May — or fail to perform their statutory duties.

    “It’s just those two reasons that an entire board can be removed, failing to organize or performing their duties,” said Steve Robinson, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania School Boards Association. “It would be very rare that an entire board failed to do their duties.”

    Robinson said staff attorneys could recall only one case in recent history of a board being replaced. In 2009, eight members of the North Schuylkill School Board were removed for failing to hire a new superintendent after its school chief resigned in 2007.

    He also said the association’s chief counsel said it wasn’t unusual for school board members to retain their own lawyers even if they were not named in a lawsuit.

    http://www.philly.com/philly/educat...al-of-lower-merion-school-board-20171024.html
     
    BarnacleBob and Uglytruth like this.

Share This Page