...but yet so far away.
You need to check out a new taxpayer website called:
www.winchester-informed-citizen.org once there click on:
“Why no comment from selectmen after auditors report.”
Here is what is really, really important about the Vachon, Clukay & Co. auditing firm's report to the Board of Selectmen. Each page of the seven page audit letter is plastered with this phrase: “DRAFT DOCUMENT NOT FOR PUBLIC DISCUSSION”
Oh I imagine some of the powers that be in Winchester thought that by now HB 626 would have been passed and the audit, required by state statutes RSAs 41:9 and 31:33 to name several, could have been blanketed from public disclosure by claiming it was only a DRAFT DOCUMENT as found in the now tabled HB 626. (Looked innocent enough didn't it?)
Under our current Right to Know Law, RSA 91-A, an audit, once completed, is a public document. It should be stamped RECEIVED by the town secretary the day it is delivered and dated as such.
But the proposed HB 626 “revision and updating” of 91-A by a gaggle of lawyers from The New Hampshire Municipal Association would have made the audit an untouchable DRAFT DOCUMENT until such time as public officials saw fit.
Remember, TAXPAYERS paid for the audit and the only persons who could be embarrassed by financial disclosure would be the board itself and public officials are not exempt from 91-A.
When a public body has a meeting and minutes are generated the secretary puts them together and they are then DRAFT minutes until made official by a vote. Fair enough. Each board member has a right to amend the draft minutes for mistakes.
But when a firm is hired to do an audit and the audit is complete it belongs to the TAXPAYERS as well as the public officials.
Next year when the phony Right To Know Commission sets out on its mission to gut 91-A, remember what you saw on the Winchester Informed Citizen site.
If you live in Winchester you should call your selectmen and tell them to put the DRAFT DOCUMENT NOT FOR PUBLIC DISCUSSION stamp in the circular file.