Newburgh Community Land Bank Misreports Staffing
The Newburgh Community Land Bank is getting a bit of a press buzz for its recent spot on NPR–in particular, “Executive Director, Madeline Fletcher.” Ms. Fletcher has worked for the NCLB for several years.
However, in the Authorities Budget Office Annual Report on Public Authorities in New York State, issued July 1, 2014, on page A2, “Authorites that indicated No Staff in 2013,” is listed the Newburgh Community Land Bank.
Contradicting this is NCLB’s 2013 Financial Report, which lists “Consultant Fees” of $64,167.
The ABO provided this response:
Newburgh Community Land Bank reported having no staff in the Public Authorities Reporting Information System (PARIS) in 2013. Staff working at the authority but being paid, in whole or in part, by another entity, or staff working at the authority pursuant to a personal services contract with another entity should be listed as staff, as well as individuals whose salaries are being reimbursed by the authority. This is a common reporting error that we come across when we perform reviews on authority information in PARIS.
Data presented in the tables in the 2013 Annual Report is as reported by public authorities. While the ABO attempts to identify significant data discrepancies, it cannot verify the accuracy of all of the information reported. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
City of Newburgh Local Development Corporation Still in Limbo Land
Another interesting find in the ABO’s annual report was that the city’s LDC is still alive–even if just barely. There’s a footnote indicating that the ABO is aware that the city has decided to dissolve the entity, but as of yet it has not done so. It was March 2013 when I wrote this post about dissolving the NLDC, which then City Manager Herbek was endeavoring to do. The IDA and the City Council must feel no urgency to take care of this little bit of housekeeping, to let the years fly by without a second thought. Technically, the NLDC should be reporting each year if it is still in existence.
LDCs and IDAs Reform
Another highlight from the annual report begins on page 49, information about Assembly bill A.9773 introduced May 2014. This is a collaborative product of the ABO, the legislature and the Advisory Task Force on Public Authority Reform.