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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Comments from....

Comments from....
The Elephant in the Room

Dont worry, it's "all in the past" as some of our BOS members believe. I did find it pretty interesting that right after the "all in the past" we skipped right over the SENIOR CENTER issues as they are....................ongoing!
Their has been 2 selectman added over this timeframe. Julie R in 2015 and Cam Fortes in 2017. Other than that it was this BOS that was in charge of the bidding, contracting, Financial mismanagement that is our Senior Center.

Morning Bob,

To alleviate some of the concerning issues regarding the Senior Center and my comment on the "It's all the past" is to regard with what has been done is done. We cannot go back and change these issues. An audit report does disclose the issues that have been found regarding any entity that has been audited (i.e. when they find someone is paying for things that they do not have the authority to do so they will disclose that information). However, it is important to look at any response from an auditor to identify the issues and why they happened. The Senior Center, 252 Baldwinville Rd, and the Elementary School have had some serious issues but we must keep in mind that those are issues that have already happened. With those issues identified we can anticipate future problems unless we can identify the cause of these issues and correct them. This would mitigate the risk. The management letter allows for our work to be cut out for us. These issues are highlighted, the root cause of these issues is given, and a sound recommendation is provided. We must not allow ourselves to get caught up on what has been done but what we can do to prevent future issues.

Through my understanding of the management letter the issues with the Senior Center were as follows: Lack of Town Accountant sign off for contracts, Contracts not being maintained, contradictions to Chapter 149 (Building Construction Contracts). These would all indicate issues with contracts and bidding. We cannot go back and change these issues but moving forward we can mitigate the risk by ensure accurate policy and procedure is in place to ensure that these issues do not come up in the future.

In my opinion, these issues are highly unacceptable and dangerous. Since the management letter has brought these items to our attention, I can ensure you that for the moment we will be vetting these bids properly and signing off on them when they have met satisfactory conditions. However, the key issue is not that we will have issue doing this now but as town government changes on a yearly basis and with a shaky foundation on un-elected positions, we require that policy and procedure to mandate not only the bidding practice to all employees of the town but to the board of selectmen as well. These risks will be mitigate in the following months through work with the Collins Center & the BoS.

Also, in effect of the items highlighted on the original posting; I can assure you that the Town Administrator & Treasurer position is showing favorable progress. That is all I can comment on that subject. We still do have some tough issues ahead and if it’s any comfort to you, I have been working regularly and consistently on these problems to create a foundation to which we can work from. Talk is a good thing but action is something, that I believe both you and I can agree on is the most beneficial for the town.

Your Selectman,
Cameron Fortes

If anyone would like to reach out to me directly. Please contact me at


  1. I just want to correct something. The email address at bottom is inaccurate. It should be

    The point I found most interesting is that we should not need policies and procedures so that we follow the LAW. The concept that the TA or TA assistant did not know this bidding/contract was wrong is asinine and completely indefensible.

    1. It was common knowledge in Town Hall ! Why did the leaders of our Town Government allow this to go on ? The answer to that question should be very interesting. It makes them as guilty as her.