LTE Nancy Kessling on Selectboards

To the Editor,


Recently we have been learning about some of the problems facing communities in Vt. who are governed by Selectboards. These elected officials are legislative, executive and judicial authorities who are assigned numerous ministerial duties defined in the Vt. statutes.

The financial aspects of running multi-million dollar businesses are complicated by the failure of our legislators to include any reasonable consequences for ignorance and/or abuse. Each year the independent auditors report on the municipality’s internal control structure. In the letter which is printed in the bound volume, they generally advise that, “we found no material misstatements” but have sent a “separate letter to management [dated]’. This “separate letter” should be available under public records law, but local municipalities will generally not release it. Nor will they willingly inform taxpayers of the details of their banking activities.

With the help of Senator Phil Gramm in Texas in the 1980s I was able to get my town to release signature authority cards held by ‘officials’ drawing funds from municipal accounts. One school district had 23 bank accounts with only 2 signed by board members.

In order to understand the financial activities of our multiple municipal districts, we must have authority to look at their books, and not be placated by reports that show nothing important.



Nancy Kessling

Plymouth/Ludlow, Vt.

Back To Top