Recently a report was published by Senator DiNapolis office (“Early Warning” system finds 15 villages in fiscal stress) which listed Manorhaven as one of the villages under fiscal stress.
According to the report, Manorhaven falls into the category of significant fiscal stress because it was only 0.8% above the moderate stress rating.
What is important for you to know is the state report was based on a three-year look back: 2011, 2012 and 2013. Eighteen months under the watch of Mayor Meehan; eighteen months under the current administration.
The board and I took office in 2012. Our accountants have very carefully reviewed the report for us and their findings are clear. The rating of fiscal stress is primarily dependent upon two lawsuits which we were required to settle that originated in 2010 and 2011 under Mayor Meehan’s administration. One suit began in 2009 involving Mr. Soldano.
At that time, Mayor Meehan’s administration breached the settlement of that suit and failed to settle it for $27,000, thereby creating a case for triple damages which we were obligated upon taking office to settle in the amount of $80,000.
The second suit began in February 2011—a federal case involving the cell tower. The village received a judgment on this case for $424,342, with accrued legal fees of $207,117.
According to our accountants once these two suits’ expenditures are removed from the report we would have a positive rating and revenue less expenses of plus $131,000 for 2013.
Reiterating this negative fiscal rating did not result from the time of our administration but was settled by it. And most importantly this rating in no way reflects any mismanagement or irresponsibility by this board. If anything it shows responsibility in the settlement of all of these outstanding claims.
In actuality to prove the strength of our village finances you simply have to know the facts.
Fact one: Village credit allowed a loan of over $700,000 at excellent rates to cover Super Storm Sandy expenses, 80 percent to 90 percent of which was reimbursed by FEMA.
Fact two: Financial strength permitted the village to fully pay a $423,000 lawsuit incurred by Meehan’s administration.
And most importantly for our future is fact three: We are projecting/working on our 2014 to 2015 budget very carefully.
—Mayor Giovanna Giunta
Village of Manorhaven