copyright the Chronicle February 15, 2017
by Elizabeth Trail
COVENTRY — The selectmen here are planning a series of public meetings over the next three weeks to talk with town voters about their problems with Town Clerk and Treasurer Cynthia Diaz, and their concern about missing town funds.
The idea is to let people ask questions and talk to the select board informally before the March 7 Town Meeting. The first meeting is planned for Saturday at 8 a.m.
An audit by Graham and Graham is the most recent in a series over the past 12 years that have identified missing money in Coventry. It’s the first to demonstrate that a significant number of cash tax payments were collected but never deposited.
The amount so far comes to about $64,000 over the two years covered by the audit. Previous auditors also believed that there were significant amounts of money missing.
“People have questions,” Selectman Scott Morley said at Monday night’s meeting. “And they want more of an open dialogue, more back and forth than they can have in a select board meeting. I think that’s legitimate.”
The Coventry voters in the back of the room on Monday night seemed to support the idea.
“What with fake news and all that, we don’t know what to believe,” said town resident Martha Sylvester.
Ms. Sylvester wasn’t the only one to urge the select board to go ahead with the public meetings.
“I think it’s going to put the board in better standing at the Town Meeting,” Skip Gosselin said.
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