Editor's Note: The following was written by Westhampton Beach Trustee Patricia DiBenedetto in response to a New York State finance report that was made public on Jan. 11.
As a Westhampton Beach Trustee, I would like to state an important fact — the role of a trustee is to manage village property and finances. It is the duty of the trustee to assure accountability of all monies budgeted for and spent in the operation of the village's government. That being said, government is a business.
Within that business, there are operating costs. The Village of Westhampton Beach has an annual operating budget of over $9 million dollars; and over $500,000 was budgeted just for legal and accounting costs alone. The trustees were the first to put the ball in motion to request assistance from not only the state, but also from our auditing team. And, those requests were only after our own quest for answers were not satisfactory.
To date, all of our questions have not been answered. We hope to have all of the answers soon. But until then, we will keep asking the questions. It is our duty. It is what is expected.
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