Brighton Board of Education Trustee Bill Trombley raised the question of fund transfers at the board meeting Monday night, saying a recent incident shows the procedure needs more oversight.

Trombley was referring to a fund transfer of about $6,000 from the general fund to jump start the Bulldog Boutique, a resale shop in which proceeds go to area students who need help. Trombley says as it is, district checks have two signers– Assistant Superintendent of Finance Maria Gistinger and superintendent Greg Gray – and need a third one to ensure that the proper checks and balances are observed. Otherwise, Trombley claims, the district gets into a situation in which it found itself recently, where public funds were used to get the Bulldog Boutique off and running.

The Bulldog Boutique opened last October but closed less than a month later after board member John Conely complained that partisan board of education election campaign literature was being handed out at the store to customers. Trombley says the problem is that public funds can’t be used to fund a private enterprise. The boutique is supposed to be completely autonomous from the Brighton Area Schools, and Trombley says a third check signer might have acted as an extra set of eyes to scrutinize such actions more carefully.

In an amended motion, the board requested that administration come back with a recommendation at the next meeting to add a third person to the check-signing process. The boutique originally opened in early October but closed on Nov. 2. It reopened its doors on Dec. 13 with a new board of directors headed by Brighton Mayor pro tem Shawn Pipoly. (TT)