Newest Black Hole in Universe Discovered in Port Orange Finance

Sorry Greg but I am not buying your  answer,
 The information I am requesting is on topic and  should already be prepared,  AND IF  it hasn’t been  prepared  then where are the numbers in your budget coming from ???
 The pension contribution expense is an excellent example.  The Fire Actuary’s required contribution calculation of $2.849 million for FY 2014 was increased in your budget to $ 3.347 million.  Was that   $3.347 million  pulled out of the air,  OR is there  an underlying calculation ??  If there is an underlying calculation why are you refusing to release it.
 Ditto for the Police and General pension expense calculations.
 You answer regarding the audit recommendations is equally non sensei cal.  You are in essence  saying that  – to have Finance provide an organizational chart indicating employees, their positions  and the job description and duties of those positions  WOULD TAKE  valuable time away from their design, implementation and presumable monitoring of corrections to internal control deficiencies  INCLUDING DEVELOPING  transactional integrity by ensuring adequate training and experience and appropriate separation of duties.
Can you explain how exactly any of that is being accomplished  without an organizational chart ??
 If your finance staff has not already prepared the requisite material I have requested  and more besides, then they are likely even more incompetent then I am imagining.  Their  report on the internal control corrections to date at the last Council meeting such as  ‘we no longer keep keys to sensitive items in the in the locks themselves’  could not even be characterized as  low hanging fruit,  and their presentation on credit card protocol was little more than  ‘ if anyone asks any questions we will be offended and make faces’.    Of all the ko koo departments in the City  finance has been the worst and most injurious to taxpayer wallets.  None of this should acceptable to you, and what is unacceptable to the rest of us is that you are giving no clear understanding as to how we are supposed to monitor your progress in rectifying this menagerie.      
 With the size and salaries paid in Port Orange finance  we should be preparing timely financial statements in house,  both  interim and year end. Instead we get incomplete snapshots throughout the year from a general ledger so deficient that at year end it requires hundreds of adjusting entries and 5 or 6 months of effort for the Auditor to prepare a set of financial statements.
 AND that did not just happen this year
 Finance  has  been under the same ineffective leadership for the past decade.  I understand why that suited the former manager and his disinterested  hands off CFO.  I do not understand why it is suiting you.  Nor do I understand the level of secrecy you are applying to all things financial. 
 We talked about this exact scenario  when you were hiring your current CFO.  I reviewed all of the CFO  applications and not one of my short list applicants  including those with recent municipal audit experience  made it to the short list  compiled by the former HR Director and the Assistant City Manager.  I asked the HR director as to the criteria he used to prepare his short list, and he could not explain why he chose the ones he did.  He had no comment to my observation that he must have had a natural talent for sniffing out the least qualified  candidates,  or that he must have been  otherwise  encouraged to select the  6 worst he could find plus Wayne Saunders.    AND if that was the case that is fine.  You got the CFO of your choice who is utterly dependent on a  long  serving condescending  Comptroller  insistent on refusing to share information in an understandable manner,   AND  now you and he need to figure out how to deliver  a work product  on a timely basis.  
 The information I have requested would not take an audit senior worth their weight in salt  at any CPA firm in town  an afternoon to compile.
 Please instruct you finance staff to quit their whining and  start getting this information out.
 Ted Noftall

—–Original Message—–
GregKiselaFrom: Kisela, Greg []
Sent: Thursday, July 25, 2013 2:06 PM
To: Ted Noftall; Saunders, Wayne
Cc: Fenwick, Robin; Bob Ford; Kennedy, Dennis;; Drew Bastian; Green, Allen; Corey Berman; Ivan Cosimi; Jack Wiles; Joe Fazzie; Laney, Sonya; Mark Schaefer
Subject: RE: Information Requested
Ted: I am not trying to be difficult but as I explained at the last Audit and Budget Board meeting the Finance Department has been tasked to accomplish several issues.  The first being the final preparation of the FY 2014 Budget in time for the  scheduled budget hearings in September .  The second being completion of the external and forensic audits recommendations by the end of September.    Some of the requested information you have requested requires resources to be diverted from these efforts.  By copy of this e-mail I am asking Wayne to provide a response on which items you have requested we can provide without delaying completion of the above priorities.
Greg Kisela
City Manager

TedNoftallFrom: Ted Noftall []
Sent: Thursday, July 25, 2013 7:11 AM
To: ‘Saunders, Wayne’
Cc: ‘Kisela, Greg’; ‘Fenwick, Robin’; Bob Ford (; Dennis Kennedy (;; Drew Bastian (; Mayor Green (; Corey Berman (; Ivan Cosimi (; Jack Wiles (; Joe Fazzie (; Laney, Sonya; Mark Schaefer (
Subject: Information Requested
There are times when financial approximations are most useful in  keeping  fast paced conversations moving.   There are also times such as when requested, or when  presenting a financial report when  great accuracy is required.  Accordingly

  •  I would request  that you supplement your financial report for the 3rd quarter of FY 2013 by disclosing the relevant cash reserve percentages   for the General, Water & Sewer and  Solid Waste  funds reported on in that report.

I believe the next meeting of the A&B Advisory Board is slated for Aug 5th and I would again urge  you to release information  as it becomes available to facilitate greater time for review rather that release material in bulk closer to or on the day of an event.
It would be most helpful if you would  provide the following as it is  prepared.
1) The revised budget.
2)  The revised personnel projections including totals for Sick and Vacation buy-backs
3)  A reconciliation of budgeted pension contributions  to  the Actuaries required pension contributions for Fire, Police and General.
4)  An analysis in support of those major revenue sources such as  Property Tax  and  Water and Sewer fees  where you are budgeting lower revenues in FY 2014 than were actually received in FY 2012
5)  A  detailed analysis of the   assigned reserves for police $ 208,166    fire $ 165,971   and general $ 122,121   indicating by year both additions and deletions if any,  from those balances.  Please indicate how these allocation amounts  were determined and if they were approved by any  resolution of Council.
6)  The Mayor’s requested spreadsheet analyzing prior years audit recommendations.
7)  The organizational chart for Finance indicating employees, their positions  and the job description and duties of those positions.
Thank you
Ted Noftall


2 thoughts on “Newest Black Hole in Universe Discovered in Port Orange Finance

  • July 28, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    While watchdog groups are often helpful they can also be destructive. The City seems to be in disarray and has their hands full. Many senior managers have left abruptly and it appears that others are following. It is a shame that a small number of citizens feel that they have the power over the true people’s choice of elected officials. Does a City of 60,000 really deserve burdening its workforce for the sake of a few disgruntled citizens? Perhaps they should bring on their supporters and seek election so that they can become part of the solution rather than pestering an already overburdened workforce. This seems to be a problem in itself that simply takes valuable time from away from the workforce in dealing with the real problems at hand. The true mission is to serve the best interests of the 60,000. The squeaky wheels have gotten more than their fair share of grease. Let’s save some grease for the other 59,995 of us. How about we act as responsible citizens and contact the Elected Council Member for our respective zones with our concerns and let them represent them for us. That is the model of our local governmental process and if not adhered to all that we can create is chaos rather than progress.

  • July 29, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    Pat, I love these gutless wonders who are afraid to sign their names to anything. Sounds like # 59,995 just might be one of those overburdened members of the illustrious Port Orange workforce.
    I’ll bet # 59,995 would indeed like activists to leave it to the elected representatives just like we left it to them under the last Manager and we all know how that turned out.


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