Politics is local and we can have the most impact on our school boards

Your superintendent is the highest paid, most powerful public official in the municipality. Do you know his name?

Elected board members, although well intentioned are easily led by their paid employees; teachers & administrators.

Do you know what they're all doing? Well here in New Jersey they represent at least 60% of your property tax bill and budgets grow at an astounding compound rate each year.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Just for You, Bertram


The below presentation are copies of documents mailed to the Morris County Executive Superintendent of Schools, DOE Finance Division and RTBOE  on 1/24/2010.  I’m posting it to my blog so that you have specific questions to ask your buddy, James Verbist. and/or the official with whom you spoke at the county office.

A little advice, over $450,000 has been misappropriated and Verbist will evade the intent of your inquiries.  James is a bureaucrat who is quite adept at evading truth.  So you’ll have keep him on topic and push hard.  When caught, James tends to squirm and make an excuse to move on, he’s only confident when he thinks the BS is working…Never mistake Verbist’s confidence as professionalism.

Despite your claimed results from contact with the County I believe that after reviewing evidence, they’ll arrive at a conclusion similar to mine.

Further, I believe the DOE will not take kindly to Verbist’s flagrant disregard of written procedure



  1. Ted:
    I can see where you tend to turn people off rather quickly. I'll try to be clear and concise for you. Verbist, the board, the county and YOU are not my buddies, friends or kinderd spirits. I am an independant thinker and resident trying to protect my multiple investments in this community. As I have said to you twice. If you are correct I will be the first one out there supporting you and demanding answers. But, if the evidence does not support your claims I will also demand from you that you refrain from devaluing my investments.
    Your scanned copies of the district acount ledgers with the annotations still don't support your contention that they misappropriated $450,000. It shows they allocated money for benefits - retirement and unemployment that they used and will still use in the new school year if I understand their accounting methods. As promised earlier today I will contact the county schools office and seek some additional information on your continued allogations.
    What troubles me is that your prior blogs allege they siphoned $218,461.27 now they are up to $450,000. What is the real $ figure? If you expect some of us to be supportive of your claims you need to stick to one story and not vascilate from one figure to another for dramatic effect.
    Ted, in regard to Verbist's professionalisn or as you refer to it as lack of professionalism let me tell you he has NEVER said an unkind word about you. To the contrary he has always in his conversations with me and according to some of our neighbors who have asked similar questions about your long term concerns of him always politely said you are entitled to your opinion and that the wealth of information to contradict your cliams stand on it's own merits. He, to me, has always indicated that you may be confused by the array of data. I have given him every opportunity to vent his frustration with your tirades but he has not bit as of now.
    I hope you are not wasting my time as a pay back for what the board had to do to you 10 years ago when you were convicted of ethics violations. If I ever suspect that is the case please be assured I will not be as polite as the board and administrators. For now, you have my attention and my ear. Please make sure you continue to deserve it. I will see what the county says on Monday. Go JETS!!!!

  2. Bertram, You claim an open mind but continue to back Verbist.

    You may require an independent person with a financial background but the scanned copies sent by Verbist Clearly show an expense recorded in FY 09-19, The offset was credited to reserve for encumbered funds, which carried $212k into the current FY.

    On the first day of the new FY (7/1/10), expense was charged $212k for a second time. I'm currently submitting an OPRA request to determine the offset for that transaction but I suspect it was a reserve other than encumbrance.

    Then on 12/31/2010 the original PO was canceled.

    Now the expense and reversal in the current fiscal year still leaves FY 09-10 misstated by the $212k.

    The PO cancellation removed funds from encumbered reserve leaving the cash in whatever account offset the 7/1 entry.... Abracadabra, legally encumbered funds become available for general use...against SAP an DOE directives.

    The blanket orders are labeled as such. They were an easy violation to catch.

    As for the $238k, they're labeled 3rd quarter SUI liability. Now both employee and employer rate is .3825% on an income limit of $29,700. So $238k represents the limit for 1,048 employees. my number is back of the envelope but you get the picture.

    Nice try on the board action to censure me 10 years ago but it immeasurably boosted my credibility and harmed the board. Trust me I harbor no hard feelings.

    If you're referring to the ethics commission. My 2002 complaints resulted in preventing RTEA endorsed board members from negotiating contracts in the year endorsed...your welcome.

    The Commission fined me because I continued my struggle into 2003. If you really want to smear someone, Check ethics complaints against Vitta.

    The Commission found Vitta responsible for a violation but let him slide on a technicality.

    And Verbist is silent because he's been caught red handed. He'd fight if he thought he could win.

  3. Ted,, Ted, Ted you are a hard man to deal with. I will type slow for you - I am not supporting anyone. You have failed to fully prove your point to me. Until then I will continue to look at all the information I can and go with the flow. AS I have said several times if you are correct I will be out there with you questioning the schools. If you are not accurate then I will let you know that and ask that you drop this issue and move onto something else.
    From what you showed me it appears that they closed out one school year and moved the PO's into the new school year as the accountant said they should. From what the county school people said to me they have until 12/31/10 to use all, some or none of the original carry over monies and the balance to liquidate if they can. It appears that what they did.
    The SUI money rolled into an account in the new year to be used for any new year obligations. I would assume they would still be paying unemployment for all the people they cut loose. No harm no fouls.
    Your personal legal issues I could care less about. As long as you say you are not harboring a grudge that is fine with me.
    Lets see what the county has to say about your letter. I'm still bummed out over the Jets loss.

  4. Bertram, I can't help that you have an inability to comprehend basic accounting. I suggested you seek the assistance of a trained professional. But you can only lead a horse to water...

    If you read and comprehend SAP and DOE directives, the noted POs should not have been moved. In fact, no POs should ever be moved to a subsequent fiscal period.

    Cash to satisfy POs applicable to one period but paid in the first 90 days of the subsequent should be moved (per DOE directive. Nothing supersedes the 9/16/03 memo).

    The $212k was not a valid PO for 09-10 and per DOE directive, must not carry forward encumbered funds.

    The directive to not encumber funds for blanket and stale dated POs is common sense.

    The reality of SUI rates and salary limits reveals the foolishness of the $238K encumbrance. Encumbered amounts MUST relate to prior year expense and can NEVER relate to the subsequent year.

    If my legal issues are of no concern to you, why'd you bring it up? But given Vitta's history, you're probably sorry you did.

  5. Ted you have a way with words.
    That was not a compliment so don't get excited that I agree with your beliefs.
    I appreciate your suggestion that I seek professional help. I must need it because I continue to be drawn into responding to your verbal diatribe.
    I will acknowledge the fact that because of you I have learned a great deal about school accounting practices and school PO guidelines. For you, unfortunately, I have really learned nothing other than you really don't know what you are talking about.
    I attempted to contact the county school official several times this week in regard to your allegations and your letter to the state you mentioned to me. He was out of the office evaluating schools. I did have the opportunity to speak to a person who was identified as his supervisor.
    I couldn't get much out of them in regard to your allegations other than that they responded to you about those allegations. I hope you will share that communication with your readers and supporter.
    What I did surmise from my conversation was that your allegations were baseless and that the schools followed the approved methodology.
    Based on that comment I will hope you will be a man and admit you were incorrect in your allegations so that your readers and supporter will have a balanced posting based on the facts.
    I don't falt you on your inability to see the forrest from the trees. It took me a while and a great deal of research to almost understand what took place. I know you claim to have been a CFO and an Accounting Professor but it was explained to me that this GAAP accounting is not exactly like regular accounting.
    There is where your problem stems from....lack of knowledge.
    Hopefully, you have learned something during this process. I have.
    Looking forward to your sharing the communication from the state school offices and your admitting to your readers that your allegations were inaccurate.

  6. Ted:
    I know you received a response from the county school administration in regard to your allegations against Verbist and the board. On January 28, 2011 I asked that you post the response on your blog for the public to see if the state agreed with your allegations. Since you have not posted the letter as requested I will wager a guess it was not supportive of your allegations and vindicated the board and Verbist/Vitta.
    Part of being a man is to admit you were wrong. People have shared with me that I will wait until hell freezes over to ever hear you admit you were wrong. Please prove these people wrong and be a man and post the letter from the county school administrators. Good, bad or indifferent it will keep your loyal readers loyal. Avoid the truth and whatever following you have will cast you aside or publicly depict you as a malcontent.
    I want to believe you are serving the community and not your self with these allegations. Don't make me regret listening and partially supporting you with my neighbors and friends.

  7. they're not allegations, they're facts. Verbist et al siphoned $212k from last year (despite an operating loss)

    More detail is in my latest post.