Westport officials are calling for an independent audit and accountability from the town’s highest elected official
Other Post Employment Benefits, or “OPEB,” now is expected to cost Westport taxpayers an additional $12,500 per household, according to Michael Rea, chairman of the RTM Finance Committee and a Republican candidate for the Board of Finance. Originally reported at about $50 million due to the accounting mistake, the OPEB liability is now closer to $100 million, Rea said.
“In a corporate world, heads would roll, but we have an elected official here. He should take the appropriate actions necessary to correct this problem,” Rea told Westport Patch.
, a Democrat, could not be reached for comment.
Westport’s annual required contribution for OPEB had been thought to be about $4.1 million, but it appears to be closer to $8 million, Rea said.
Third Selectman Charles Haberstroh, a Republican, said Joseloff could do more to take responsibility.
“Basically he (Joseloff) could say ‘I’m accountable for it, I’m sorry, I want to stay in office,’ which he can do,” Haberstroh said. “Or he can say he has lost the confidence of the funding bodies and the voters and ‘I need to resign.’ Only he can decide that.”
“I think someone or some people in government made a serious mistake,” Haberstroh said.
Rea said: “There is a problem that exists in his (Joseloff’s) administration and it needs to be corrected and that’s why there should be a third party audit to make sure this doesn’t happen in the future.”