WEATHERSFIELD SCHOOLS Review panel finds no misspending

The watchdog committee is satisfied with how an emergency levy is being used.
MINERAL RIDGE -- It's probably rare, but it's also true. There are no complaints.
In a yearly review, members of a watchdog committee created in 1996 when an emergency levy was passed by voters in the Weathersfield School District say they have not found fault in the way the district has used the funds.
That pattern holds again this year, Fred McCandless, chairman of this year's Levy Finance Review Committee has reported to the school board.
In fact, McCandless said Wednesday, the committee has never found a problem.
When the board requested the levy in 1995, it said a review committee would be appointed to check on use of the funds.
Overall, McCandless, who frequently attends board meetings, often questions financial matters on the agenda, thus keeping tabs on the full scope of board business.
The committee of Marilyn Besoiu, McCandless, Carolyn Pringle and John Vogel reviewed use of the funds for the 2001-02 school year after meeting with district Treasurer Angela Lewis.
McCandless said $456,896 was expected in the fund this year, which includes the $418,028 the levy generates annually, and a small carryover from the 2000-01 school year.
According to the committee's review, the funds are being used within the confines of the terms of the original 1995 levy and there were no questionable expenditures.
The five-year measure, which originally was approved at 5.6 mills, was renewed in 2000 and is now at 4.6 mills.
McCandless said the levy, which is due for renewal in 2005, was passed with a promise to the community it would only be used for new books, educational materials such as computers, manuals, building improvements and new bus purchases.
In addition, the levy has provided for the hiring of a high school science teacher, social studies teacher, elementary guidance counselor and a nurse.
"The original promise of strict management of the funds for the benefit of the students has been faithfully kept,'' McCandless said.

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