This is in response to your e-mail to me last week. First, don’t forget to copy the City Clerk with your e-mail that you copied to some of City Council members at their personal e-mail addresses; the e-mail related to City business. I know it may take a little time for you to get used to the new process. I note and appreciated your attendance at the April 7, 2014 Sunshine Law training as well as providing comments to the recently adopted Electronic Information System Ordinance which is designed to assist the City in capturing and retaining all public records.
Secondly, I stand by my comments made to you at the last Audit and Budget Board meeting. Your “blogging” of the former Finance employee by name was the contributing factor in her decision to leave City employment. This is unfortunate as she was a dedicated and committed employee who truly was an asset to the City. In my opinion, your desire as the Chair of the Audit and Budget Board to review the resumes and applications of all individuals in the Finance Department to see if they should have been hired and/or retained, oversteps your’ s and the Board’s authority. Specifically, the City Charter empowers the city manager to “Appoint, and when he deems it necessary for the good of the city, suspend or remove all city employees and appointive administrative officials”. I feel your past actions have undermined employee morale and if you do not refrain from your past actions you will continue to create an undesirable environment for our employees.
While I do agree with your goal of improving the City’s financial record keeping and reporting I do not appreciate your attacks on the City’s Finance Director, Wayne Saunders. Mr. Saunders inherited many challenges last year and has over the past year attempted to correct these issues. I have been blessed with working with many fine individuals in my private and public sector careers and Mr. Saunders stacks up with the very best. The City has made substantial progress in improving the financial operations of the City and I am proud of Mr. Saunders’ and his team’s individual and collective efforts.
Your comment about the FY 2012 management letter and internal controls “baffles” me. The spreadsheet that the Finance Department prepared and shared for review and comment with the Mayor and City Council as well as the Audit and Budget Board in September/October of 2013 was a summary of every finding and comment that the external as well as the forensic auditors provided the City. This spreadsheet contained all of the findings and comments that were provided to the Mayor and City Council in June of 2013. It also contained City management’s plan to address each of those issues. I am pleased to report that 21 of the 24 findings and comments identified in FY 2012 were resolved to the satisfaction of the City external auditors in this year’s audit. I can assure you that if for some reason you didn’t get a copy of the FY 2012 management letter it wasn’t deliberate. If the Audit and Budget Board feels these issues weren’t resolved correctly they can recommend to the City Council to hire an additional auditor to review them.
Mr. Saunders along with the external auditors told you last week that the CAFR and management letter were separate documents so hopefully that clarifies that issue for you.
By copy of this letter I am asking the City Attorney to brief you on the legal issues relating to this matter.