LIVERMORE — Selectpersons unanimously accepted the resignation of Treasurer Amy Byron at their meeting Monday night before auditor Ronald Smith advised there are numerous ongoing issues with town financial records.

Amy Byron has resigned as Livermore Treasurer. Submitted photo

The resignation was effective immediately, and the board appointed former Deputy Treasurer Mary Castonguay as treasurer.

“Consider this my letter of resignation,” according to Byron’s letter read to selectmen by Administrative Assistant Aaron Miller. “I will turn in my keys and the town credit card this afternoon.”

She dropped them off at the office Monday afternoon, he said.

Byron, who lives in Livermore, was elected treasurer in 2014.

“To date we’re seeing the same old problems,” Smith of RHR Smith & Co. told the board via speakerphone. “One of the biggest things concerning to us is that the tax assessor’s certification was problematic again this year. Real bad math and not paying attention to details. When you sent out the tax bills they were wrong for the third year in a row.”

The municipal appropriation total used on the fiscal year 2020 certificate of assessment had an error approximating $89,000, resulting in an underpayment of taxes, Smith wrote in a Nov. 2 letter to selectpersons.

“There are issues with bank reconciliations, taxes, tax liens, payroll liabilities,” Smith said. “We continue to see bad math, some errors out there. Every year we’re having this conversation. It goes well beyond the scope of an audit.”

A closer look will be needed to get to the root of the problems to get the books fixed, he said.

“There’s a problem with the books, that is an understatement,” Smith said. “You need to get behind the math on some of these numbers … can’t get the numbers to work out as far as payroll liabilities and compensation being paid.”

Selectperson Tracey Martin asked if there were issues with the math or was data missing.

“Compensation is not consistent with policy,” Smith said. “Paying or not paying liabilities on time. I could go on and on, make a list. Until you can get a better understanding of if the numbers are right or wrong, I think more needs to be done to get there. There seems to be a lot more issues to look at this year than in the past. Your books are going to be problematic.”

Smith offered technical assistance to selectpersons, saying two to three days of work would allow him to put something together.

“There’s a list of seven or eight things to focus in on and get a better understanding of,” Smith said.

He said he wouldn’t need anything from Byron since he had access to the books and data.

“How did things get this far?” resident Robin Staples asked.

“We don’t know all that’s going on,” Selectperson Chairman Mark Chretien said. He noted he had pushed at town meeting for the treasurer to be appointed not elected.

“If a bill isn’t in the warrant, we don’t even know it exists,” Selectperson Brett Deyling said. “Having somebody in the position of administrative assistant and treasurer is very bad. The person in charge of the numbers is telling everyone everything is fine.”

Byron was hired as full-time administrative assistant to the board in May 2016 and stepped down in June. Miller replaced her in August.

Byron was paid $17.54 per hour as treasurer, Miller said.

Castonguay said she is paid $25 per hour at another bookkeeping job.

Chretien asked if Castonguay would accept $20 per hour until the next budget is developed.

“I’m more than happy with that,” she said.

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