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first_imgTHE REAL SBOA AUDITS FINDINGS IS IN THE “SUPPLEMENTAL COMPLIANCE REPORT”Last Friday, the news we have been waiting for finally broke. The results of the 2014 State Board of Accounts Audit of the City of Evansville’s books were made public. The City County Observer finds no joy in having been right about what those results would be, but we are proud that we told our readers the pure, unvarnished truth about the state of Evansville’s finances.We are proud to have stood up for the truth offered to us by former 5th Ward Councilman John Friend, CPA, former 3rd Ward Councilwoman Stephanie Brinkerhoff-Riley, and Mayoral Candidate, State Rep. Gail Riecken. We gave these conscientious public servants the respect they deserve for doing due diligence in their positions while the Mayor and his political appointees discredit them in a very personal and mean-spirited manner. We will always be proud of offering them a non bias platform to speak the truth from.We hope that all of our readers take the time to read the SBOA findings on the state of City of Evansville  finances as of the end of 2014, which can be accessed through links we posted on Friday, February 26. It is clearly stated that the SBOA made an “adverse” finding, but we are already reading the Mayor and his chief “spin masters’” versions of the findings in the Courier and Press. It appears the local main stream media has again fallen into line with the “propaganda machine” of the Winnecke Administration.Two quotations about the outcome of the audit appear to be red flags waving in the breeze for all to see if only they open their eyes. The first is a part of the audit findings by SBOA: “The cash balance of any fund may not be reduced below zero. Routinely overdrawn funds could be an indicator of serious financial problems which should be investigated by the governmental unit.” It is no secret that our accounts are routinely overdrawn, but City Controller Russ Lloyd’s response is rather alarming. Lloyd’s response: “The city is aware that certain cash balances in particular funds may fall below zero on a given day. This is due to sporadic revenue streams and constant disbursement requests. Is is the city’s established policy that each department director and correlated fund manage their budget throughout the year to ensure all funds begin and end the year with a positive cash balance.”We are not CPAs, but we are reasonably certain that the layman’s translation of that statement is “We do all we can to juggle the books so they appear balanced on the first and last days of the year.”City Controller Russ Lloyd, Jr in his “Plan of Correction” (which would not be necessary in an acceptable audit) makes mention of ways to lessen the City’s financial shortfalls. He suggests that payroll can be lessened by a hiring freeze and reduction in the number of employees through attrition and job reclassification. Those are the exact solutions that SBR, John Friend, and Gail Reicken warned voters about, but they were dismissed by Mayor Winnecke, Controller Russ Lloyd Jr as something that was absolutely not in their plans for our “vibrant city.”We also take note that there is no discussion of cutting back on the expenses involved in the planned dog park and bike trails, but there is talk of cutting the number of employees who deliver city services. We are especially concerned that there could be a reduction in the number of public safety employees. Only last week, the City Council meeting had a number of Jacobsville residents speak about the high crime rate and the widespread blight in their neighborhood. It’s reasonable to wonder if they would have supported the North Main renovations, if they had been aware that our finances are dicey enough that we could be facing a possible reduction in the number of firefighters and policemen.It becomes evermore clear to us, and to other reasonable minds, that Evansville is being lead by a less than truthful City Controller who was also was a failed Mayor.  We can only hope he don’t guide Evansville down the path to failure similar to Detroit. It is time for the people of this city to unite in a movement to demand transparency and accountability from both our officials and the local main stream media.Oh, the SBOA SUPPLEMENTAL COMPLIANCE report for the CITY OF EVANSVILLE dated January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014 concerning the Overdrawn Cash Balances for the General Fund shows a balance of $307,140 as of December 31, 2014, the fund would have shown a deficit balance of $5,888,660 as of December 31, 2014, if not for the following items:1. The Wastewater Utility prepaid the 2015 payment in lieu of taxes payment totaling$2,428,0002. The City did not pay the General fund’s portion of hospitalization bills for the 3rd quarter of2014 totaling $3,767,800.FOOTNOTE: Our next “IS IT TRUE” will be posted on this coming Wednesday?If you would like to advertise in the CCO please contact us City-County [email protected] “Readers Poll” question is: Do you feel that the main stream media failed in reporting the real facts concerning the 2014 SBOA audits short falls of the City of Evansville?Copyright 2015 City County Observer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributedFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

first_imgGovernor Jim Douglas today signed into law a $595 million transportation bill at the Miller Brook Bridge project in Stowe. The fiscal year 2011 transportation budget contains record spending for bridge rehabilitation and repair, as well as record or near record sums for other transportation programs, including rail and paving.“These investments continue the strong commitment we’ve made to our physical infrastructure in recent years,” Governor Douglas said.  “This transportation budget will generously fund many priorities, such as paving, bridges and rail, and create jobs across the state.  I thank Chairman Mazza, Chairman Brennan and the Transportation committees, as well as Secretary Dill and his team at AOT, for their strong commitment to Vermont’s physical infrastructure.”The fiscal year 2011 bridge expenditure of $113.2 million is a record sum, and represents the first time the Vermont Agency of Transportation’s bridge budget has topped $100 million. This represents a $19.3 million increase (21 percent) over the previous high in fiscal year 2010.  In addition to all the work that will be done through the bridge appropriation, the transportation bill also funds an additional $5.8 million worth of town-highway structures grants. These are grants that will be awarded directly to towns for rehab, repair and replacement of both bridges and culverts. Combined, the grant program and state bridge budget are expected to fund the rehabilitation, reconstruction or maintenance of about 150 bridges statewide.“All of this work will allow us to continue to decrease Vermont’s number of structurally deficient bridges,” said Transportation Secretary David Dill.  In 2004, 11.2 percent of Vermont’s Interstate bridges were structurally deficient.  Today, just 7 percent are structurally deficient.  Similarly, in 2004, 18.5 percent of town highway bridges were structurally deficient, while today just 15.9 percent are structurally deficient.  All of the bridge work built into the new budget will allow us to reduce these numbers even more.”Other Transportation Bill highlights include $93.4 million for paving which will help Vermont Agency of Transportation resurface about 300 miles of roadway this construction season, and $51.7 million for railroad improvements, including $5 million for continued AMTRAK rail passenger service on the Vermonter and Ethan Allen lines as well as $26 million to begin track and bridge upgrades to increase train speeds for the Vermonter.Full details regarding the transportation bill, which also includes $24.7 million for public transit services, can be found on the Vermont Agency of Transportation’s website at www.aot.vt.us(link is external).Source: Governor’s office. 5.26.2010###last_img read more