Ridgewood offers D-80 advice on expense, finance management

Maintain buildings, watch expenses, D-234 officials tell District 80

D-234 board president and business manager talk D-234 finances

District 80’s finance committee heard from Ridgewood District 234’s business manager and board president on how they manage the District’s expenses, including recovering from a financial crisis in 2009-2010.

234 board president Paul Draniczarek urged District 80 to maintain its buildings, saying that if they were not maintained, the eventual cost to fix major issues would be much higher in the long run.

“You’ve got to maintain, because that keeps you from having the catastrophic problems, spending a lot more money later” Draniczarek said.

He also recommended District 80 spread maintenance spending out over time, instead of doing everything at once.

“You try to schedule out things so that you … are not spending $3 million in capital improvements one year, and $100,000 the next year”, Draniczarek added.

He said District 234 splits up maintenance into pieces so they can budget for it “as long as you have a good comprehensive inventory of what needs to be done”.

“I think that’s key from a building perspective”, Draniczarek said.

Despite burning nearly $8 million from a $10 million dollar reserve since 2011, District 80 had not spent the money for capital improvements, instead using it to fund new programs that the District could not fund from their yearly operating revenue.

Board Member Frank Tribuzio asked if District 80 should perform a “forensic audit”, to find out where the money went, a campaign issue made by other board members.

Draniczarek threw cold water on that idea. “What’s done is done” Draniczarek said.

“What you need to do is get yourself on the right track”.

“Find a way to go forward” Draniczarek added. “Going back and pointing fingers… I don’t think really serves any purpose”.

District 234 is moving forward with a feasability study to potentially combine Districts 234, 80, and Union Ridge District 86.

Recording of the October 16 2019 District 80 Finance Committee Meeting (full video, 1 hour 37 minutes)

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