Friday, December 07, 2007

Springfield City Council's independent auditor (Investigator) position of vital importance

The decision about who should be the independent auditor hired by the City Council for oversight of the City of Springfield's financial dealings should be as vitally important to the citizens of Springfield as the City Manager's position (I wrote about this position here back in August after a memo from Deputy City Manager Evelyn Honea demanded that all information acquired from departments of the City be run through the City Manager's office prior to its release to any individual Council member. Memo included at end of this entry).

Following is the section of the City's Charter that allows for such an investigator:

Section 2.15. Investigator
The council may appoint an investigator who shall serve for such term as the council may prescribe. He shall be a certified public accountant or a person specially trained and experienced in governmental or business investigation or administration. His
duty shall be to keep the council informed as to the work performed, methods, and financial affairs of the city. He shall not be responsible for the keeping of accounts. He shall make such investigations of the work of all departments of the city and such reports to the council as it shall require. He shall make such other investigations as the council may direct. He shall have access to all books and records of all departments of the city. If the council desires, he shall certify to the correctness of any or all financial reports before the same shall be regarded as official.

The City suggests it will go outside Springfield to seek applicants for the City Manager position which Bob Cumley will vacate next year. Sources tell me that the Council is considering hiring someone locally for the position of independent investigator.

Memo from Deputy City Manager, then Assistant City Manager Evelyn Honea:

TO: Management Team Management Team Secretaries
FROM: Evelyn Honea, Assistant City Manager
RE: Process for Sending Material/Information to Mayor and City
DATE: June 25, 2007

Any information or material being sent to the Mayor and members of City Council MUST be approved by the City Manager or Assistant City Manager BEFORE it is sent to Councilmembers.

To avoid confusion, please use the procedure outlined below:

1. Any memo or other information should be e-mailed to Evelyn Honea or Bob Cumley for approval. Please provide a hard copy if it is not possible to e-mail the material.

2. You will be notified of Bob/Evelyn's approval or asked to make changes. If asked to make changes, please resubmit the corrected material for approval.

3. Upon approval, please provide 13 copies to the City Manager's Office for distribution to Council. A member of the City Manager's staff will deliver the material to the Council mailboxes. (The 13 copies include: 9 for Mayor and Council, 1 for the media folder, 1 for the City Clerk, 1 for the City Manager, and 1 for the Assistant City Manager.)

4. Mail is only delivered to the Mayor and City Council on Wednesday afternoons at 4:00 p.m., prior to City Council meeting every other Monday night, and at Tuesday luncheons. Please keep this schedule in mind when communicating with Councilmembers.

Thank you for your cooperation and assistance with this process.


Bob Cumley, City Manager
Brenda Cirtin, City Clerk
Anita Murphy Cotter, Assistant City Clerk


Anonymous said...

Could Mr. Finnie be re-hired as a consultant to explore the stupid decisions he has made ?

How do the City audit problems compare to the average local gas station robbery that they usually prosecute ??

The Libertarian Guy said...

They don't even compare.

Anonymous said...

Did I miss something ?

The NewsL t-paper did not mention or forgot the pension funding problem.

Is that problem not a finding of the State Auditors report??

Jacke M. said...

Yes, the pension fund was mentioned in the audit.

Anonymous said...

I see they mentioned the 70 million dollar pension shortfall in the paper today.

Is it 70 or 100 million or what?
What is the official number provided by the Auditor??

How could we expect our City leaders to notice a looming problem like that??

It was nice they were all busy or out of town for the Thursday night event. This is why they are called leaders....

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that the city is over 100 million short on pensions, and needs to add 70 million to get what is considered a 'safe' range...

Of course, our local crap paper doesn't seem to give a rip about those kinds of details...


Anonymous said...

Here is a direct e-mail link to the City Council

Of course, a copy goes to the Mayor and other nosy people

Do they get to see every message? I would doubt it with this group!

Anonymous said...

If I recall correctly, in the early 90's, the City Council provided Mr. Finnie with a rather large contribution to his retirement fund so it could "catch up" for some reason.

As a team player, possibly Mr. Finnie could return this money and provide it to the Police and Fire pension fund.

As with others, he should not have a problem with these retirement funds no longer being there.

Anonymous said...

Until an independent auditor can be hired,

Would it be possible for the present City Manager and others to simply tell the truth to the City Council?

Obviously we need to create another new City position so this can be done in the future, so the present staff does not have to change their conduct.