Westfield Board of Education Names New President and Vice President, Hears Annual Audit Presentation

Robert Morrison presented his findings to the board. Credits: Ana Ferrer

WESTFIELD, NJ - The annual audit of the 2010-2011 school year was presented and accepted at last night’s Board of Education meeting after the president and vice president were nominated and named.

Richard Mattessich was nominated and accepted as president and David Finn became vice president of the board. 

Robert Morrison of the accounting firm, Hodulik & Morrison, P.A, then presented the audit after he went in depth to explain how the scope of the audit was expanded. “Because the district is a recipient of significant amounts of federal and state grant dollars we have to follow additional auditing standards promulgated by the U.S. Controller General’s office and by the office of management and budget of both the federal government and the state of New Jersey,” Morrison said.  

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Not only did the audit’s scope expand because of the grant money, but also because of the former school business administrator, Robert A. Berman who was involved and charged in a bid-rigging scandal with contractors in March 2011.

Morrison also said that he is convinced that all the controls and checks and balances set in place, are all working as they should in order to prevent that situation from happening again.

In a presentation of about 45 minutes, Morrison summarized the outcomes of his firm’s reports and findings, including the amounts of miscellaneous revenues, outstanding bonds, unassigned funds, the unemployment trust account and the total expenditures for last year.

Morrison stated that those figures were the more important amounts to remember from the audit.

The Westfield School District currently has approximately $24 million in outstanding bonds or debt, which is only 10 percent of New Jersey’s debt limit. The district has $87 million in total expenditures for 2010-2011, $936,000 in miscellaneous revenue and $2.95 million in unassigned funds.

There was a surplus of $2.2 million from the maintenance reserve account from 2010-2011 that the board approved to transfer to this year’s maintenance funds.

Morrison said that overall the audit was satisfactory, and the board was given no recommendations for the upcoming year.

In other news, the board welcomed the new Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum Instruction and Programs, Paul Pineiro.

An announcement was made on behalf of Edison Intermediate School for raising more than $4000 for the Hoops for Heart fundraiser that raises money for children through the American Heart Association.

Also, Dec. 6 began the first of the districts winter concerts. Each of Westfield’s 10 schools will be performing concerts through Feb. 9.

Sophomore Alexa Derman of Westfield High School was accepted into the Young Playwright Inc.’s Advanced Playwriting Workshop for 2011-2012. Many of the 14 students attend private schools in New York City. Through this free program, Derman will attend live theater, analyze plays and complete writing exercises. The program will end with a new play written by Derman and showcased in a professional staged reading.

The next Board of Education meeting will be held Dec. 13 at 8 p.m.

Ana Ferrer is a student at Kean University, and wrote this article as part of a class.

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