Double financial books (September 28, 2016)

The TOAV has and is using two very different sets of financial records. The town’s internal accounting system has deficiencies in tracking specific transaction details as publicly stated by the finance head last week and previously on several occasions. Council was told that revenue numbers reported in a recent Daily Press letter to the editor as coming from other agencies could not be verified because of the accounting system and thus the false comment, These numbers may have originated in Canada and lost in translation. Folks, is this part of a game being played on the public to hide/deflect internal financial problems here?

Transparency report has month ending date of August 31, 2016 and contains empty column current month. Agenda item contains July Commercial Warrants and thus none noted for August because they have not been reported to council yet. How can this fabricated (manuallyprepared) report include an August as of date when no check costs have been approved yet? Are the August checks delayed for some important reason, thus the reporting date is not accurate since costs include up to July? July report has check to attorney firm for $176,173.97, but where is 20/20 Network being paid? Maybe via a electronic wire transfer and thus will be not reported nor approved by council? Most payments to attorney are done by wire transfer, why not this one — maybe because it was to be included in the public records books and this transparency report!

The town’s financial record system has already been communicated by staff as problematic, but the second set of records which are extracted for Council and public is even more problematic and this has been stated in public comments on several occasions. Why is public not wondering why there has been no manually-prepared treasurer’s report for several months for Council’s and public records? It contained $70 million balance a few years ago and now we wonder where the $20 to $30 million is placed or not? The public records request number of 83 is not accurate as reported in the transparency report and this issue has not been corrected either from analysis and review. The finance manager stated that: The bottom-line total is correct even though the parts don’t totally compute. The public books do not include any of the millions of dollars spent via electronic wire transfers, which is very problematic and publicly not viewed nor provided in the second set of books.

The Town should get its own house in order soon and not later and focus on only maintaining one set of financial records for efficiency and gaining trust and confidence which is diminishing rapidly. Transparency is an issue.

Al Rice, Apple Valley

Source: Daily Press