I attached two pages that both show the General Fund Revenues for September 30, 2013. One is from the CAFR and the other is from the September 30, 2013 financial reports that the finance department finally posted on the City web page. When you look at these two pages, you can see that most of the numbers and budgets are totally different. Anybody looking at this would think that Port Orange is running two sets of books. Actually there are four. The CAFR, detailed reports posted monthly, the summary selected monthly report that the Finance Director presents to City Council, and the annual budget. The only way that I could tell that the detailed numbers mostly match between the CAFR and posted financial details was using a schedule that John Shelley prepared almost two years ago that included the general ledger account numbers.
Councilman Ford has repeatedly said that the budget should be able to be peeled back like an onion. Well, we have an onion, an apple, an orange, and a grapefruit(the selected monthly summary that cannot be peeled back at all). My personal opinion is that we can reduce the finance department staff by 25% if we just get down to one set of numbers. Port Orange did not have any real finance reporting for almost six months after the September 30th year end.
The financial reports that we have now are so different that proper decision making would be a challenge for anyone. If I were a city councilman, it would be impossible for me to make appropriate financial decisions for the citizens with this kind of poor financial reporting. It is a problem with management or talent in the finance department. Throwing more bodies at it is not the answer. If they are running in a circles now because of poor management, it will only make the circle larger.
3606 Donna Street
Port Orange, Florida 32129