New Canaan for the first time since forming an Audit Committee to ensure proper financial controls are in place is no longer operating with “material weaknesses,” a member of the group said Wednesday morning. The town also has given full access to its elected treasurer and “we don’t have people signing checks that are unauthorized to sign them,” Audit Committee member Ed Kangas said during the group’s regular meeting, held at Town Hall. “It’s almost incredible to me that we had all those problems. These were big deals. This town should not have had those problems. I am pleased they are resolved and we are off on the right foot going forward.”
The comments came on the first meeting of the committee since New Canaan hired a new interim CFO, whose predecessor retired amid lingering “material weaknesses” in town financial processes and controls that had been identified by auditors. Tom Stadler, administrative officer in the office of the first selectman, said last week was busy at Town Hall with the former CFO’s “departure” and new interim hire Sandra Dennies’s start “and the walkthrough and changeover of the bank and investment accounts, and a number of other things,” adding that officials have put those matters “behind us now” to move on and “walk hand in hand.”
Referring to concerns that had been raised by the town treasurer, Audit Committee Chairman Bill Parrett said: “I understand there has been lots of activity in terms of giving the treasurer access to some of the accounts—maybe they were not the biggest or most important accounts—but they were accounts that he presumably should have been looking at, and that has been done.”
Dennies in brief remarks to the committee offered praise for her colleagues in Town Hall and in the finance department specifically.