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Last June, the police district had to beg the town comptroller for a $1.1 million advance on the second half tax revenues, and this month (December) we begged for $1.925 million.

The town relented (on Election Day) with regard to the 1 percent interest required, but intimated that in 2004 and the future, any advances would be in the form of an interest bearing loan.

How did we get in this hole?

Answer; five years ago, Commissioners Zimbardi and Duncan rammed through a resolution designating Commissioner Persons the sole contact with the insurance consultant, Commissioner Duncan the sole contact with the labor management consultant and Commissioner Zimbardi the sole contact with our accountant who is in Melville, in the Town of Huntington. It is this accountant who gave Zimbardi and Duncan the "Nod' that it was OK to use $1.1 million of the fund balance to subsidize the 2002 and 2003 budgets.

Perhaps the reason is that in the Town of Huntington, where the current accountant's office is located, the tax bills are payable Dec. 31 of every year in contrast to the Town of North Hempstead, where tax bills are not payable until Feb. 10. The accountant should be aware of this and of the fact that in the Town of North Hempstead a larger fund balance should be maintained in order to provide the necessary "cash flow cushion at mid-year and end-of-the-year budget crunch times."

"Requests for proposals" have been sent out to all the outside consultants who might be interested. I certainly hope that some other accounting firm submits an acceptable proposal.

In the 2004 budget we have provided $25,000 as a contractual retainer for an accountant, and an additional $10,000 for "accounting-extras" which is there because Commissioner Zimbardi has a habit of often running to the accountant to ask him questions which require excess extra man hours to conduct "studies." (We can do this in-house.)

We should definitely look around for someone to replace the accountant and someone to replace Commissioner Zimbardi.

Bob Persons

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