A member of the board on the changes Southampton is making to improve its finances

Posted: 12/14/2021 09:31:56 AM Modified: 12/14/2021 9:31:21 AM I am writing in response to Monday’s newspaper guest column (“South...

Posted: 12/14/2021 09:31:56 AM

Modified: 12/14/2021 9:31:21 AM

I am writing in response to Monday’s newspaper guest column (“Southampton’s unstable financial situation”) regarding Southampton’s finances.

Southampton hasn’t had a permanent accountant for too long. Unfortunately, the office assistant has also retired. The interim accountant ensured the operation of the office, but did not perform all the functions.

Accounting has been a big priority. Southampton hired a permanent accountant and assistant this fall. We wanted them to prioritize the current exercise, so we plan to recruit experts to finalize the difficult 2021 exercise (staffing, COVID). Therefore: 1) We hired the former accountant to complete the tax recap forms. 2) The tax rate has been fixed; our tax rate for fiscal 2022 is $ 15.07 (the current rate is $ 15.97). 3) The audit is ongoing and should be completed by the end of the year. 4) The city’s budget lines are there. 5) There was no deficit spending; the necessary transfers appear on the mandate. 6) Free money has not been certified. This will happen at the ATM.

The impetus for Tuesday’s special city meeting is that we received a matching grant of $ 100,000 from the state for an accessible path and playground in Conant Park and to vote on the money for the Community Preservation Act for the New Haven to Northampton Canal Regional Historic Register. Both projects have a calendar year end deadline. Our ad hoc grants committee did an amazing job this year securing over half a million dollars in grants for everything from green lane to cybersecurity.

Southampton has a new committee in town, the ad hoc committee on cost savings. This committee will examine new initiatives to strengthen our financial position in Southampton. Anyone interested in joining this committee should contact City Manager Ed Gibson.

The board of health made recommendations to the board of directors for the special city meeting. The board of directors considered their recommendations and voted to hold the special municipal assembly as scheduled. Masks and social distancing will be required and disinfection practices will take place. Residents need to be informed: attend board meetings, join committees, and stay informed – and be part of the solution, not the problem.

Reeny groden


The writer is a member of the Southampton Select Board.

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Newsrust - US Top News: A member of the board on the changes Southampton is making to improve its finances
A member of the board on the changes Southampton is making to improve its finances
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