Towns want to see Local Government Center's recordsBy GRETYL MACALASTER
Union Leader Correspondent
December 14. 2012 1:20AM
DURHAM - Fourteen New Hampshire communities have filed a right to know request with the Local Government Center following the filing of a formal complaint earlier this week to the Bureau of Securities Regulation about the LGC's plan for reimbursing illegally held surplus funds.
The towns are seeking financial information from 2003 to 2012 to include the annual audits of financial transactions, the annual actuarial evaluation of the LGC's pooled risk management programs, the written bylaws of the organization and documents indicating the name of each LGC member entity during those years and the date of departure for each member during those years.
"Most of the documents requested are publicly available and have been filed with the Secretary of State's Office annually, for the last 25 years," the LGC's executive director, Maura Carroll, said in a statement released on Thursday.
LGC had not yet received the formal request on Thursday, but Carroll said they will respond when it is received.
"We are always open to working with our member communities to share information in a timely and transparent manner," Carroll said.
The towns of Durham, Peterborough and Salem, acting through their town managers, have raised concerns with over a dozen municipalities who were members of the LGC during the time that surplus funds were accumulated in the LGC health insurance and property liability trusts. Those funds are now the subject of a BSR hearing officer's order issued in August directing more than $52 million in certain surplus funds to be returned to trust members.
The LGC is appealing the hearing officer's decision, but has also indicated it plans to reimburse funds through contribution "holidays" beginning in August 2013.
On Monday, the LGC also indicated in an email to members that if requested in writing, a cash refund can be issued instead.
Under the LGC's current proposal, towns that have since left the LGC pooled risk management programs will not be eligible for reimbursement. "The present position of the LGC that it is only obligated to return surplus to those municipalities who are presently within the applicable trust program unlawfully discriminates against former municipal members whose contributions helped create the surplus," the three town managers said in a press release on Thursday.
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Gretyl Macalaster may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.