Lake George Watershed Coaltion: Queensbury, Bolton, Lake George Village

LGWC executive committee 011416 agenda

Bolton Denick Decker Conover 2017

Queensbury Councilman Doug Irish requests and receives on June 7, 2017 the Final Audit Report from the NYS DOS:

Email from Cindi Denick, Administrator – “Attached please find the final audit report that was prepared on December 10, 2015 based upon our receipt of the Town’s response letter on December 4, 2015 …”  DOS email with Final Audit

Final Audit Report for Queensbury:  Queensbury 12-10-15 Final Audit Report

John Strough’s response included in the Final Audit Report: Queensbury response to final report  Ms. Denick stated this letter was received on December 4, 2015.

6/7/2017 LOOKTV Interview 6/7/2017:

“Yes you could say it is ‘auditing’ and use it informally … was never an audit it was a review and it even says review at the top of the page.”  Queensbury Supervisor John Strough

http://www.looktvonline.com/john-strough-interview-06-07-17-pt-2/

The Post Star reported on June 4, 2017:

He admitted he had not given the town board a copy of the audit report in 2015, and said he regretted that now.

“If I had a crystal ball, I’ll go back in time and do it,” he said.  Queensbury Supervisor John Strough

http://poststar.com/news/local/lake-george-watershed-coalition-getting-checks-and-balances-after-fraud/article_a14c7e74-914e-5ff9-aac3-9a3cfa915fce.html

The Town of Bolton and Village of Lake George were also audited:

Bolton audit

LG Village Audit Report

For an outline of activities to date:  Outline LGWC

My newsletter May 31, 2017 titled: Click – Got it wrong

Click: Attachment to the Westcott Response to The Post Star Editorial5

For a copy of the NYS DOS Audit Summary 10/20/2015 stating “The Town neglected their fiduciary duties …NYS DOS Audit Summary of Review and Findings 10-20-2015

For an audio account of the June 6, 2016 Queensbury Town Board Meeting when Supervisor Strough states the “Department of State is Happy …”

For an audio account of the August 17, 2016 Queensbury Town Board meeting where both Supervisor Strough and Dave Decker say the town of Queensbury “Passed the Department of State audit …”:

For an audio account of the May 1, 2017 Town Board meeting heated exchange between Mr. Strough and Mr. Irish:

In October 2015 the NYS Department of State (DOS) released an audit report to Queensbury Supervisor John Strough that was highly critical of five (5) grants Dave Decker obtained and administered on behalf of the Town of Queensbury finding:

The Town neglected their fiduciary duties …

Supervisor Strough did not share the audit report with the Queensbury Town Board, Town Budget Officer or the public.  Below is what the audit report said and what Mr. Strough and Mr. Decker reported to the Queensbury Town Board:

Oct. 20, 2015 Audit Report:  The Town failed to document and report required local match for three of the five contracts reviewed.  The Town failed to appropriately manage and oversee … contracts by fully relying on one subcontractor (I.E. Dave Decker) without engaging in sufficient reviews …

6/6/2016 Queensbury Town Board Meeting:²

John Strough:  The final submissions, I’ve been seeing the paper work, the Department of State is happy with everything so far and the back and the forth and everything else.  So the grants are in fairly good shape they’re close to being finalized and payments should be forth coming in the very near future.

Oct. 20, 2015 Audit Report:  The Town did not require submission of documentation from subcontractors to substantiate payment requests submitted to DOS.  The Town did not verify that the work scope identified on payment requests was consistent … with the contract.

8/17/2016 Queensbury Town Board Meeting:²

John Strough: … and then you have the [sic] then we got audited which is good …

Dave Decker:  Right. Which we passed. Everything. It was an 18 month audit. The state audited every receipt. Every check.

John Strough: and we passed the audit … all these grants everything down to the final little thing.

Oct. 20, 2015 Audit Report:  The Town did not discover that contracts did not accurately reflect the contract expenditures … The Town did not review the documentation in a manner that would allow for the recognition of duplicate expenditure claims.  The Town did not sufficiently document reported local match.

The thing is the Town of Queensbury never “passed” the audit.

The Queensbury Town Board went on to approve another payment to Mr. Decker in January 2016 with Supervisor Strough only having the knowledge of the 10/20/2015 DOS audit report. We only found out about it later because of the work of citizen watchdog Travis Whitehead who uncovered it.

Why are we finding out about this because of a citizen watch dog and not our elected representative?

1. DOS Audit Summary 10/20/2015NYS DOS Audit Summary of Review and Findings 10-20-2015

2. For an audio account of the June 6, 2016 Queensbury Town Board Meeting “Department of State is Happy …”

    For an audio account of the August 17, 2016 Queensbury Town Board meeting “Passed the Department of State audit …”

For an audio account of the May 1, 2017 Town Board meeting between Mr. Strough and Mr. Irish:

The Town of Queensbury paid $3,262,952.02 directly to Dave Decker (Vender 4735) from 2/14/2003 to 1/12/2016:

For a complete list of Queensbury Town Board Meetings audio, please click: http://www.queensbury.net/government/agendas-and-minutes/town-board-meeting-audio/

Mr. Decker has been arrested on fraud charges.  The Post Star report:

Click: http://poststar.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/lake-george-coalition-director-arrested-on-fraud-charges/article_fa37da0d-f963-5faf-8796-b0f7150d7094.html

In 2015 the New York State Department of State audited five (5) grants Mr. Decker obtained and administered on behalf of the Town of Queensbury:

Click for DOS Audit Summary 10/20/2015NYS DOS Audit Summary of Review and Findings 10-20-2015

Supervisor John Strough did not copy the Town Board on his response to the NYS Department of State Audit dated October 20, 2015:

Councilman Doug Irish learned of the audit in 2017 and contacted Barbara Tierney the Queensbury Town Budget Officer about it.  Here was her response on April 20, 2017:

“I do not have any audit from DOS. I was not aware of a DOS report until you just brought it up.”  Click: Strough and Tierney response to Doug Irish audit question

When questioned about the audit by Councilman Doug Irish, Supervisor John Strough said on April 20, 2017: 

“I have not seen this report, and this is the first I am hearing of its possible existence. Therefore, I am not familiar with its contents.”  Click: Strough and Tierney response to Doug Irish audit question

Supervisor Strough was careful to parse his words about the specific report Councilman Irish asked about. At which time Lt. Steve Stockdale clarified the issue in an email response and stated,

“Mr. Strough – I apologize for the confusion.  The pdf I forwarded to you contained the first five pages of the DOS report consisting of the “Summary of Review and Findings” portion of the correspondence.  There were indeed a total of 133 pages attached to their report, which consisted primarily of copies of contracts, emails and various legal-ese.  I will absolutely scan and attach the remainder of the report if you request such.”  Lt. Steve Stockdale

Even after such clarification from the Sheriff’s office Supervisor Strough continued to deny he had ever seen the audit report for which he sent a response to DOS.

Click: Lt. Stockdale clarifies audit in email exchange with John Strough

Lt. Steve Stockdale reminded Mr. Strough in an email on April 20, 2017 that he indeed did know of the report unless someone forged his signature:

“If, as you have stated in prior correspondence, you have not seen this report in the past and are seeing it now for the first time then I respectfully suggest that you may have been the victim of a forgery.  If you determine that is the case we are available to assist you with that as well.”

Lt. Stockdale also noted with Mr. Strough the fact that he did not share the DOS audit as part of the subpoena in the Decker case and the Sheriff had obtained it directly from DOS:

“… these documents (DOS audit) were provided to us by the Department of State and not by the Town of Queensbury …”

Click for April 20, 2017 email Lt. Steve StockdaleStockdale Email1

Supervisor John Strough has called this nothing more than “politics” and held up two letters at the May 1, 2017 Town Board meeting stating the board was copied and notified of the audit, but these letters did not address the audit and were letters written in 2014 before the release of the audit.  Here are the two letters Mr. Strough referenced:

Click: Strough to Cindi Denick at DOS – 11-25-14

Click: Strough to Decker

Warrant 01-12-2016

 

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Warren County GeoThermal System

WC EPC White Paper Final

Bergmann Final GeoThermal Audit Report:  Warren County Report – Final

Appendix A

Appendix B

Appendix C

Appendix D

Appendix E

Appendix F

Appendix G

bergmann-preliminary-energy-findings-warren-cty-geothermal

summary-of-bergmann-findings

supervisor-sheriff-questions-seimens-municipal-center-original

5-letter-to-siemens-07-15-13-2-pages

11-accounts-payable-report-3-pages

14-memo-to-caimano-from-treasurer-02-08-07-1-page

17-rsu-simple-payback-analysis-6-pages

18-letter-from-firm-of-gibson-4-pages

21-foil-request-response-14-pages

wc-treasurer-geothermal-questions

geothermal-pro-forma

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Newsletters

Since 2012, I have been keeping tabs on the Warren County Board of Supervisors and doing my best to inform voters of what is taking place at Warren County. I have now published more than 130 newsletters, numerous position papers and held public meetings. This website chronicles this work. To access my newsletters, please go to the menu bar and click on the year you would like to view.

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Warren County Legislature

Federal Lawsuit: decision

press-release-legislature-final

Statement of Fact presented to the Warren County Attorney Brian Reichenbach:  STATEMENT OF FACTS 4-29 (draft)

Legislature Paper 1

Legislature Paper 2

Warren County Legislature Presentation 3-28-16

Legislative Paper 2 handout

Bill Mahar’s Petition and Handout:

Petition for the Creation of a County Charter Commission

Legislature Petition Handout

Queensbury Town Board:

The Queensbury Town Board approves a resolution that “supports the decision of the duly elected representatives to the Queensbury School Board to “opt out” of the municipal tax exemption for the City of Glens Falls proposed property improvements for a solar farm and any other future solar and wind energy projects within the School District boundaries.” Qbury Town Council support school board

Queensbury Town Council approves resolution that “supports the establishment of a Citizen Advisory Committee at Warren County to research and report to the Board of Supervisors what system of governance would be most effective for Warren County Taxpayers.”  Queensbury Town Council ResolutionSupport Citizen Committee at Warren County

STATEMENT OF FACTS 4-29 Final to Brian

 

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COGEN – Warren County Sheriff Investigator Report

DA Affidavit Letter

Warren County Investigator Affidavit

Warren County Investigator Report

Siemens chart EnerNoc

Siemens Cogen pro forma

Siemens letter March 15 2016 (3)

Travis Whitehead Letter to Siemens

Chairman Geraghty Siemens

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WESTMOUNT NURSING HOME

Westmount expenses 2010 – 2015

Westmount budget numbers

Confidence email

NYSDOH Document Meeting Sept 2015 – NYSDOH Document Meeting Sept 2015

Westmount RFP – RFP-WC 69-12 (1) (1)

Siemens Year 10 Energy Performance Contract cover page

Westmount Feb 11 presentation

Westmount Cogen May 1 Town Hall

LEGAL CONCERNS WESTMOUNT COGEN 2

Budget Analysis March 30 2015

Westmount Email Feb 19

Westmount RFP

WESTMOUNT FINANCIALS AUDIT

Westmount 2013

 

 

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BUDGET AND TAX

Warren County Treasurer Mike Swan:  Budget_Analysis_Memo_May 31 2016

Committees votes and points

Warren Population and Votes

2015 failed resolutions

Warren County Board of Supervisors meetings

2016 Budget Process Email

2011-13073 – 15 WC Treasurer Correspondences – 35 pages

GeoThermal ProForma

Whitehead Email Nov. 17 2015

02 06 06 Siemens Prelim Proposal – Municipal Ctr

Siemens GeoThermal Contract Savings

Siemens GeoThermal ~ YEAR 1Siemens GeoThermal ~ YEAR 2; Siemens GeoThermal ~ YEAR 3Siemens GeoThermal ~ YEAR 4

Siemens contracts5

Siemens GeoThermal Analysis

Siemens Energy Projects – Siemens Project Cost Analysis

Siemens chart EnerNoc

Siemens District 1

Siemens puts GF into fiscal distress

Siemens GF Letter of Intent

tom myers

EnerNoc Final Audit Report

Westmount expenses

Westmount Co-Gen Payments to Siemens

EnerNoc Dec 2013 Cogen Report

Louisiana opinion

County Admin Office Road Email 2015

2015 Saratoga DPW BRIDGE CAPITAL PLAN

Warren County Tax Workshop

Future County Debt Service – Including Court Expansion

Treasurer Budget Analysis

Treasurer – 2014 Additional Revenues and Expenses

Occ Tax Municipality Payments

Occ Tax Tourism Revenues Expenditures – 2011-14

2014 Warren County Multi-year Plan

2015 Warren County Budget Summary by Department

2015 Warren County Budget Summary

Non Bargaining Salaries Updated

2014 Sales Tax YTD

Budget_Analysis_Memo_-December 31 2013 (Final) and March 31 2014

Budget Meeting Presentation

WC EPC White Paper Final

Siemens Statement re

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AIRPORT

NYSDOT Complete Application (Warren County T-Hangar)

Airport expenses

Grant Timeline

Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport public hearing transcript

2010-2014 Actual – Airport2015 Final – Airport2010-2014 Actual – Westmount2015 Final – Westmount

Airport vs Westmount expenses

Reasons not to expand runway

airport-email-requesting-meeting-with-mr-whitehead

edc-report-001-3

faa-excise-taxes

travis-whitehead-explanation-of-faa-runway-guideline

appendix-f-runway-length-calculations

b-ii

airport-consultants-council-quick_reference_guide

most-frequent-user-at-gfl-activity-log

tennyson-response-to-westcott-questions-6-16-16

westcott-response-to-tennyson

tennyson-response-to-westcott-questions-6-16-16

airport-services-proposal-letter-from-schermerhorn-rich-air-final-copy-11-04-2016

saratoga-vs-warren-airports-twin-jet-arrivals

Stuart Field Expansion Position Comments

Airport Expansion Arguments

Phil Morse letter re GFL

Airport – DEC Response to Comments

GFL current jet traffic

Appendix N – Conceptual Mitigation Plan

 

New plow and sweeper for Airport (above) – $675,000

Saratoga Airport documented expense

Airport Budget Final Approved

2010-2014-actual-airport

Airport Hanger Bond payments

2015-Saratoga DPW Roads

Saratoga DPW NYS CHIPS funding

WarrenCountyBudgetAnalysis-5-27-14

2014 Additional Rd Projects Recommendation 2014-2-5

Airport 2013 Actual Budget

Airport hanger payments 2013 – 2015

Warren vs Saratoga Airports 2012

Airport benefit projects (2)

Airport FBO Lease Overview

Airport 2nd meeting Final

Airport Position Paper

http://poststar.com/news/opinion/guest-essay-airport-money-better-used-elsewhere/article_aecea55e-732c-11e2-8471-001a4bcf887a.html

Airport Facility Meeting Report Jon Mandwelle

 

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Media Coverage

Posted in Media Coverage | Comments Off on Media Coverage

Essays: The Fiscal Cliff, Mandates, Growth in Government, Invasive Species

Committees votes and points

3 23 nursing home email

County Attorney email

LEGAL CONCERNS WESTMOUNT COGEN 2

Airport March 18 2014 meeting

Dec 21 2012 – The Fiscal Cliff

Mandate Relief – http://poststar.com/news/opinion/guest-essay-state-must-offer-mandate-relief-to-municipalities/article_a098feee-5523-11e1-9397-0019bb2963f4.html.

Mandate Relief – http://poststar.com/news/local/warren-county-supervisors-want-rail-service-resumed-to-old-mine/article_3410ce2c-43b3-11e1-a743-001871e3ce6c.html

Is it possible to stop the growth in government?

Invasive Species Lake George

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